Despite cases of missing persons, police say Lagos-Ibadan Expressway not kidnappers’ den
Mowe, Ofada, Owode-Egba and other adjoining areas along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway are not kidnappers’ hideouts, the Ogun State Police Command has said.
This is at variance with the reality as some families are inconsolable over the disappearance of their loved ones on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
But a statement on Wednesday signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, partly read, “The attention of Ogun State Police Command has been drawn to a publication circulating on social media warning people to avoid Mowe/Ofada/Owode-Egba road, as the road according to the false alarm has turned to kidnappers’ den.
“The Command wishes to state categorically that the information is nothing but a false alarm and a calculated attempt to cause panic in the mind of the people, most especially those living in that axis.
“The only kidnapping case that has ever been recorded in the area mentioned is that of a woman who was ambushed and abducted in her farm alongside her visitor on the 1st of May 2021.
“The two abductees have since regained freedom and some suspects arrested by the Command in connection with the case while others on the run are being trailed.”
The family of a businesswoman, Sarah Dosekun, has been in distress for over three weeks following her sudden disappearance while on her way to attend a vigil at the Celestial Church of Christ, Calvary Parish 1 in the Ogba area of Lagos State.
It was gathered that Sarah boarded a bus from the Mowe area of Ogun State on May 6, 2021 to the Ogba area of Lagos.
Sarah’s daughter, Janet, said the family members lost communication with her mother when she got to Asese bus stop on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, adding that the 67-year-old had remained incommunicado since then.
Janet said the matter had been reported at the Mowe Division of the Ogun State Police Command.
The Ogun PPRO also said that the case had been reported and the command was investigating it.
This newspaper had also reported that over three weeks after Opeyemi Anifowose departed his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, to board a flight to Abuja at the local wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State, the whereabouts of the nutritionist had remained unknown.
He had called his mother to inform her that he was at Mowe and that was his last communication with his family.
Kidnapping has become a sordid menace and a lucrative ‘enterprise’ in Nigeria as the West African nation’s security situation worsens.
Hundreds of Nigerians, mostly the vulnerable – children and women – have fallen victims of kidnappers in recent times and their families have had to part with millions of naira to secure their release after days or even weeks of excruciating pains and agony. Some families have not been so lucky, however, as the daredevil kidnappers rape and kill their victims even after receiving ransom.
Aside from payment of ransom, the condemnable venture feeds a growing illicit trade in illegal organ trafficking. Kidnappers also sometimes use their victims for ritual purpose.
The Senate has proposed a bill seeking to prohibit the payment and receipt of ransom for the release of any person kidnapped, imprisoned or wrongfully confined.
According to the bill, Nigerians who pay ransom to kidnappers and kidnappers who receive ransom risk 15 years imprisonment.
But many Nigerians including human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN, have flayed the upper chamber and described the bill as stupid. They noted that the National Assembly should instead focus on ensuring they make laws that guarantee adequate security for every Nigerian.