Ekiti pupils’ kidnappers insist on fried rice, energy drinks besides N15m ransom - LagosTrend

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Monday, February 5, 2024

Ekiti pupils’ kidnappers insist on fried rice, energy drinks besides N15m ransom


Parents and authorities of Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure Ekiti, explain to DAYO OYEWO and ABIODUN NEJO, the abducted schoolchildren and teachers’ journey to freedom from kidnappers’ den

Parents of five abducted pupils of the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure Ekiti on Sunday said they went through a tedious journey before securing the release of their children.

The abducted five pupils of the school were released on Sunday after the kidnappers collected a N15m ransom.

Apart from the ransom, the kidnappers insisted on collecting fried rice, energy drinks and cigarettes.

The school proprietor, Gabriel Adesanya, told The PUNCH that the driver was killed. According to him, the corpse of the driver, who was kidnapped alongside the pupils and staff members of the school, has yet to be found.

He said, “The corpse of the driver has not been found yet. The freed kidnapped victims said he was killed between yesterday and this morning. We cannot trace the body at the moment since we don’t know the location where they were kept. We have discussed with the police whether we can recover it.”

When contacted, one of the parents of the kidnapped victims, Adebisi Jegede, confirmed that a ransom was paid to the kidnappers.

He said, “A ransom was paid to the kidnappers and the money raised was around the N15m they demanded. I was not the one that counted the money but it was around that amount.”

Relatives of the victims said the kidnappers, who initially demanded N100m, reduced it to N15m after negotiations.

The victims were on their way home from school last Monday when five of the pupils, three teachers, and the bus driver were abducted.

The schoolchildren were abducted on the same day gunmen killed two Ekiti monarchs-the Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin, but the Alara of Ara Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, escaped.

The parents and families of the kidnapped persons, who were happy to reunite with their beloved ones who spent six days in the den of kidnappers, said that the journey to their release was torturous.

A man, whose wife and son were among the kidnapped persons, said that N15m ransom and some other items were handed over to the kidnappers in an expansive forest before the abductees were released to them.

The man who spoke anonymously for fear of being abducted, said, “Nine persons were kidnapped. But eight persons were released, we didn’t see the ninth person. The kidnapped persons told us after their release that the gunmen shot the driver dead”.

The man said, “It gave us a lot of problems to see the kidnappers. When we first entered the forest, we spent about two hours without seeing them. We had to go forth and back before we saw the kidnappers.

“When we eventually saw them, they took us into the bush far away from where we parked the motorcycle that we took there. We gave them what they demanded and they released the kidnapped persons to us.

“We gave them N15m and the food items they asked us to buy for them – eight packs of fried rice with chicken and drinks – can malt drink, fearless energy drink, bullet energy drink and cigarettes.

 As they collected the money and the items, they said we should run off.”

The source, who said he could not say specifically the location in the forest, said, “The place is between Ondo and Ekiti States. We entered around Ago Panu along Owo–Ikare Road in Ondo State and went deep in the expansive forest.

“When they released them to us, I embraced my family members, I thank God for the reunion, for surviving the torture, and hunger.”

Shedding more light, a woman, whose three grandchildren were among the kidnapped persons, said that her joy knew no bounds on reuniting with them after they were released in the early hours of Sunday.


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