Kidnap: Abductors of Ondo driver demand N5m ransom

Kidnappers of the commercial driver who was reportedly abducted along Ado Ekiti/ Akure road in the early morning of Wednesday, have contacted the victim’s family, demanding N5m ransom.

The owner of the vehicle driven by the drivers, Mr. Adedeji Adeyemi, who confirmed this to TribuneOnline, on Thursday, said the kidnappers contacted him through telephone to demand the ransom.

He said the kidnappers initially demanded N5m to secure the freedom of his driver but said it was later reduced to N2m.

According to him, the abductors contacted him on Wednesday evening and said he was allowed to speak to the victim for some few minutes before the call ended.

He, however, said the abductors called him in the early morning of Thursday, reducing the ransom to N2m but said the kidnappers have to remain silent since then.

He confirmed that the driver of the vehicle was the only victim abducted by the kidnappers saying the driver was kidnapped on his way to Akure garage.

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According to him, the incident happened around 5 am saying the driver left Ado Ekiti for Akure around 4:30 am before the incident happened around Itaogbolu in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.

The Chairman of Akure / Ado Ekiti garage, Comrade Tayo Olorunmaye, while speaking on the development explained that the driver was coming to Akure from Ado Ekiti enroute Onitsha

Olorunmaye explained that the driver, Akinde Felix, had been booked at the garage a day earlier for a trip to Onitsha and was on his way to pick passengers to Onitsha when the ugly incident happened.

He, however, said the actual number of the passengers in the bus could not be confirmed but said it was established that the Akinde was whisked away by the gunmen.

He said “the garage was contacted after the incident and the driver’s union swung into action, by reporting to the police.

“The hoodlums took advantage of the bad spot on the road to carry out their operation, we learned about the demand for ransom and he was the only one has spoken to his people”

Also, a family source, who spoke with our correspondent also confirmed that the kidnappers have established contact with the families through their telephone lines.

He explained that the abductors are demanding for a ransom five million naira before they will set the driver free from their den.

“The kidnappers contacted us, and they are demanding a ransom of five million naira before they would release him.

“They said that he (driver) is in the bush with them and would only free him when we are ready to cooperate on the ransom payment

“As I speak with you, they have already used two different telephone line to contact us demanding to know how much we have been able to raise.

“Although, we have met with family members and including some of his friends in the NURTW to help us in raising this money.

“The five million naira is just too much for us, and I don’t know where they want us to see such huge fund but we are still begging them,” he said.

Also, one of the executive members of NURTW in Ekiti State confirmed that the abductors have contacted the union and said they have been raising fund to secure the driver’s release.

“We are pleading with the kidnappers to spare the life of our colleague and we have promised to raise some funds with the family in order to set him free,” he said.

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers, on Tuesday, reportedly abducted Akinde and some passengers along Akure / Ikere Ekiti road.

It was gathered that the commercial driver identified as Akinde Felix, was driving towards Akure from Ado Ekiti when the hoodlums who had blocked the roads stopped him and reportedly took him and the passengers away.

But the State Police Command debunked the report that more than 10 people were abducted in the incident, saying only the driver was abducted.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Femi Joseph said only the driver of the vehicle who was traveling to Akure was kidnapped by the unknown gunmen.

He said “the Ondo State Police Command wishes to allay the fear of the general public as a result of the news making the rounds on the Social media that an eighteen seaters bus conveying some passengers from Ikere to Akure was blocked while ten passengers were kidnapped.

“We wish to state that the story was exaggerated and good enough, and to set the record straight, a space bus Toyota Previa vehicle was driven by one Akinde Felix from Ikere Ekiti en route Akure on Tuesday, with only the driver inside.

“At about 4:30 pm on a spot close to the NYSC camp at Itaogbolu, the vehicle was blocked by suspected hoodlums, while the driver who was the only occupant was whisked away.

“The Command has since begun an investigation and intensifying efforts to not only rescue the victim but to also arrest the perpetrators.”

He, however, said that the officers of the command have already swung into action and would soon arrest the perpetrators, assuring that the victim will be rescued alive while the hoodlums will be apprehended.

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