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Friday, December 9, 2022

Ekiti abductors reduce ransom to N10m

By Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti


Suspected kidnappers who shot dead an operative of the  Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Segun Ayebulu, and kidnapped three other persons in Oke-Ako, Ajoni Local Council Development Area have reduced the ransom to ten million naira.

The abductors who had earlier placed N30 million ransom on their victims, later contacted the family on Monday night and reduced the ransom.

A source close to the family told The Hope Metro that they have embarked on an appeal fund in the community apparently to secure the release of those in the custody.

The fund, which was launched through an account number in one of the new generation banks,  owned by a prominent member of the family of the victims was aimed at generating fund for the release of the hostages.

Recall that an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) was gunned down along Oke Ako-Irele Ekiti road while traveling to his town in Ogbe, Kogi State, while three other occupants of the car conveying him  were abducted.

The three abductees are younger brother of the late NSCDC officer,  his five-year-old child and 11 year-old child of his  elder brother, while two others in the car escaped.

The source said, “The abductors have  called again, reducing the ransom to N10m naira.

“The younger brother of the slain NSCDC officer appealed to us from the kndnappers’ den that we should do something urgently for their release. He said how they were being tortured was unbearable.

“On our side, the demand is on the high side, there is no way the family and even the community can raise the ransom. So, we are still negotiating that it should be brought down. That is  why we are soliciting supports from the government and members of the public.

“When I received information that my brother had been was killed, we immediately mobilized hunters in the community. Fortunately, I saw a military man and when I told him what happened, he said I should take him to the military outpost,  so that they could mobilize, which I did.

“On my way back riding on my motorbike, I sighted two children in the bush not far away from the scene. As I was trying to have a clearer view, I suddenly saw a man armed. He  pointed a gun at me and fired a shot. I escaped half-dead, probably because my appointed date had not come. God actually saved me.

“When I got to where the soldiers were, I told them I was the one who was shot in case they heard a gunshot. So, soldiers and hunters rushed to the place. But before they got there, the gunmen had taken the children away.”

Also, Chairman, Ajoni LCDA, Michael Ogungbemi, said the LCDA had mobilized its security network, Eradicating Bandits at the Borders of Rural Ajoni Communities, to begin combing the forests and the axis, with the military.

The NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Tolu Afolabi, said the command was not aware of any negotiation between the kidnappers and members of the victims family.

He explained that the corps had mobilized some men to the community and as well contacted the commands in Kogi and Kwara States to secure the safe release of those kidnapped by the gunmen on Saturday.


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