A 60 year old engineer from Phillipine, Jaime Garcia Lacar on Monday recounted before an Ikeja High Court how he was kidnapped and held hostage for a week by four gun wielding youths in Odongunyan, Ikorodu in Lagos State.
Larca further told the court that the kidnappers were paid N4 million before he was released.
Lacar who was led in evidence by the Lagos State Prosecutor, Monsisola Osibogun, positively identified Adebayo Yinka aka Osho, Ogunsumbo Seun aka Apa and Awokoya Ishau as his abductors.
The Filipino who said he had worked in Nigeria for nine years said the incident traumatized him and his family.
“I am a mechanical engineer working with Mateod Industries West Africa. On the 5th of July 2017, I was coming from work with a colleague named Mario when we were stopped by 4 young men just before the roundabout at Odongunyan.”
“We were asked to park the car. We were forcefully pulled out of the car and dragged to the backseat. Afterwards two of them sat in front seat while two of them sat with us at the backseat.”
“They drove us for a long time before we we finally stopped at a house where we were dragged out and locked in a room.”
“They collected our phones, and my wallet after which they tied our hands and legs and used whips to flog us.”
“The kidnappers then asked me to call my boss. They used my phone to call my boss and my boss’ wife talked to them on the phone pleading with them to release us.”
“They told us that they were negotiating for our ransom. After sometime they told me that my company had paid the ransom but they could not release us as they wanted to wait for nightfall before they would release us.”
“They dropped us at a deserted junction and fled into the bushes. They left behind the car which I drove until I got to filling station. The attendant told me that we are in Ogun State. We reported the matter at a police station.
“After the incident, Mario resigned from the company and left Nigeria. I wanted to resign too but my bosses pleaded with me to stay in Nigeria promising that such an incident would never repeat itself again.”
When Larca was asked what he wanted the court to do for him, he said: “I want justice. I want both foreigners and even Nigerians alike to feel safe in this country,” he said
When the second defendant’s counsel (Seun Ogunsumbo), Omotubora Abayomi, asked Larca if he had met the 2nd defendant prior to the incident, he said no.
“But I recognize him very well. All of them did not cover their faces. The second defendant always came to the room where we were tied up with a cutlass,” he said.
The second defendant counsel asked Larca if pinpointing the second defendant was just a case of mistaken identity, as it was his brother, Kayode Ogunsumbo was the one that committed the crime.
Larca said: “no, this is not a case of mistaken identity. I have worked in West Africa and East Africa. I have seen different faces of black people and no two are alike. I am positive. I know the faces of my kidnappers,” he said.
The Judge, Justice Adenike Coker thereafter adjourned the natter till 13th of May for continuation of trial and ordered that the defendants be further remanded in Ikoyi Prisons.