The total sum of N12m was allegedly paid to the kidnappers of four natives of Eha-Alumona in Nsukka local government area of Enugu State to effect their release. The freed abductees were among those kidnapped along Enugu-Ugwuogo-Opi-Nsukka road some weeks ago.
A community leader of Eha-Alumona, who does not want to be mentioned, Thursday, said their four kinsmen were abducted while they were returning home to participate in the burial wake of their deceased relative. According to him, some of them were based overseas.
He said, “They were kidnapped along that road in the evening, and taken into custody in a wide bush. The abductees, out of fear, agreed that they could pay N7m and N5m differently. The abductors then permitted them to be making contacts to their relatives and friends to raise the funds. That was how we were contacted, and we rallied round to raise the sum. The transaction/negotiation for their release started at Agu-Opi in Nsukka LGA, and their release was at Agu-Ekwegbe in Igbo-Etiti LGA, all of Enugu State.”
It was gathered that the four kidnapped persons had gotten to Enugu early in the day by air, and were advised by someone who knows their movement to hold on because Enugu-Ugwuogo-Opi-Nsukka road was notorious in the afternoon.
The source said, “That was how they waited until the time their resource person told them the road was free. Unfortunately, they were caught by the same web they wanted to avoid. Whether their adviser was a part of the deal is a matter only God knows. But we are happy they are back.”
He further revealed that the freed kinsmen said the people who abducted them were not Igbo, although they could not ascertain if locals were conniving with them.
According to him, “Our abducted kinsmen said two of their abductors spoke Fulani and English fluently. They were slim, fair and of the Fulani race.”
Recall that the Enugu State Police Command Tuesday announced the arrest of two suspected kidnappers at Api-Opi in Nsukka local government area of the state.
The suspects, Sani Usman, 25, and Landi Usman, 30, both from Sokoto State, are suspected to be among the kidnappers terrorising commuters plying Enugu-Ugwuogo-Opi-Nsukka road, which has recorded cases of kidnapping, rape and killing of late.
The arrest was announced by the state police public relations officer, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, when the suspects were paraded in Enugu.
According to him, “Following the receipt of distress information on alleged kidnapping at Api-Opi, along Enugu/Opi/Nsukka road on 19/06/2023 at about 6pm, police operatives serving in Umabor Division of the command immediately mobilized to the scene and while combing the forest, they rescued a female victim (name withheld), who had escaped from the kidnappers.
“While still at the scene, the operatives sighted and arrested two male suspects, Sani Usman, aged 25, and Landi Usman, aged 30, both from Sokoto State, who the rescued victim identified as members of the kidnapping gang.
“The motorcycle they rode to the scene was recovered, while the case is undergoing further discreet investigation and tactical operational actions at the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the command.”