After three weeks of communication silence, abductors of six pupils of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, have contacted some parents of the victims again.
Punch Metro learnt yesterday that the kidnappers also allowed the parents to speak with all the children, promising that they would be released soon.
It was gathered that the kidnappers did not request that the parents or the government pay any additional ransom. The children had spent 41 days in captivity as of Wednesday.
Three days after notifying the college of the attack, the gunmen broke into the boys’ hostel around 6am on Thursday, May 25.
They picked 10 Senior Secondary School pupils from the hostel and led them to a waterside, where their speedboat was anchored.
The pupils were screened based on their family backgrounds. While four were consequently released, the assailants whisked away the remaining six pupils, identified as Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Phillips and Farouq Yusuf.
After a prolonged negotiation, the kidnappers eventually settled for N100m ransom for all the children.
The parents had protested at the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s office on Wednesday, June 7, accusing the government of indifference and asking it to facilitate the release of the children.
Eventually, the parents raised and paid N10m to the captors on June 9.
The following day, they demanded additional N40m ransom and went incommunicado, leaving the parents in confusion.
However, some parents, who spoke with our correspondent on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said the kidnappers had established contact with them again.
They said the gang allowed them to speak with all the children and assured them of their safety.
A parent said, “They have called again and promised to release our children soon. But they did not specify when and where they will be released. They allowed one of us to speak with all the children and they assured the parent that the kids are safe.
“Our plea is that they should have mercy on us and free these children. We cannot wait to see them.”
Another parent, who also confirmed the phone call, said the kidnappers did not demand further ransom.
The parent said, “It is true they have contacted us and made a promise to free our children very soon. In fact, we have been on the lookout since yesterday (Tuesday). We just hope they will not renege on their promise again. They did not request more ransom. We pray that they do not change their minds.
“We are a bit relieved to hear from the children again after about three weeks’ break, but the most important thing is their freedom. We want to see our children.”
Asked why rescue operations had not yielded results despite repeated assurances in the last few weeks, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said efforts had been intensified.
He said, “We are ensuring security awareness and presence in all schools in the state.
“The police are also working with other security agencies and all stakeholders to dialogue on the best way to police the state.
“Such efforts will lead to reduction in crimes and the rescue of the schoolchildren.
“The police are working round-the-clock to rescue them very soon.”
Meanwhile, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria says the inability of security operatives to rescue the six kidnapped pupils undermined the investment of the state government on security.
The Amir (President) of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr Saheed Ashafa, said this in a press statement on Wednesday.
He said allowing the children to spend 41 days (by Wednesday) in captivity showed that security in Lagos needed reforms.
He said, “The continuous stay of the pupils with kidnappers means that the investment of the state government in security has yielded little or no result. The situation is an embarrassment on the much rated Lagos State.”
Ashafa, who lamented the psychological torture that the pupils would be going through, prayed for their safe rescue, urging the parents of the victims to be hopeful.
Ashafa deplored the spate of criminality bedeviling the peace of the state in recent times.
“We appeal the state government not to relent in its effort to maintain a crime-free Lagos,” he added
“I Killed Him And Used His Blood To Make Money Rituals (Oshole) for Yahoo Boys” – 22-year Old Ritual Killer Confesses
A 22 year old suspected ritual killer, Idowu Talabi from Ikenne-Remo has been arrested by the Ogun State police command for killing a tenant, Tobi Yisua, who lives in his maternal grandfather’s house.
During interrogation by a reporter of Alaroye, a dedicated Yoruba news platform, Idowu Talabi confessed to committing the crime.
He said, “he (Tobi Yisua) is a lotto operator (Baba Ijebu). Whenever he keeps money at home and they steal the money, he will accuse me of stealing his money.
One day, he was sleeping on the bed in his room, he did not lock the door, he only locked the net outside. When I wanted to enter, I used knife to cut the net and I unlocked it.
When I entered his room, I saw him sleeping naked on the bed lying face down and I landed the cutlass I was holding at the back this neck. When I saw that he was trying make noise, I used pillow to cover his mouth and used the cutlass on him again.
After killing him, I took part of his blood and mixed it to prepare “Osole”, money ritual charm. I made the charm to sell it to customers who will be interested in it, I did not do it for myself.”
Asked how he knew how to make the charm? He said he saw it in his father’s account.
On how he was exposed? he said, “the second day, when the wife of the deceased came from church, she found the dead body of her husband on the bed. She then came to me in the backyard, locked my shirt and accused me of killing her husband. When I got to the police station, I confessed to the police that I was the one that killed her husband.”
Politics Of Bitterness and PDP’s Deadly Plots Against Me, APC MUST Stop Nown – Chief Nelson Agbamuche
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its operatives in Akwukwu-Igbo in Delta State, led by Kelvin Onuwa Anyakwu and Victor Nzediegwu have been doing everything possible to harm me, my family and political associates.
There have been series of attacks on my properties and plots to eliminate me, leading to some unfortunate attacks on my supporters.
The reason for the acrimony is due to the fact that I choose to identify with a progressive party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) which has brought and still bringing development to my community.
As a traditional title holder whose allegiance is to my people, I thought it wise to join the APC having spent years in the PDP without any noticeable benefit to my people, but my former party chieftains won’t recognise my fundamental human rights of freedom o association guaranteed in our constitution and the African charter.
Consequently, they have resorted to attacks and threats to my life, destruction of my properties using thugs and local vigilantes to hound me and my associates.
I have already petitioned the Inspector General of Police on this matter, having lodged formal complaints at the state level with no visible action taken.
As if that was not enough, they also resorted to political intolerance against myself and members of the All Progressives Congress.
This was brought to bare on Saturday when the PDP unleashed an unprecedented level of violence against APC faithfuls during the Local Government elections that our party was clearly winning.
After noticing that APC had won most of the units in the election, thugs led by Ikechukwu Joseph Iwegbu, known as Presidential General, invaded the units fully armed at the point of counting to disrupt the exercise. They carted away all the ballot boxes and shot at us recklessly, many of our people sustained various degree of injuries.
The Police in our community witnessed the incidents, they can attest to the brazen attacks.
No result was announced anywhere in Akwukwu-Igbo ward. Of course APC clearly won five out of the seven polling units in the ward. If they are in doubt, let us repeat the election, APC will still win.
After the violent attack on Saturday, they used the instruments of the state to move against us, arresting our people who are APC members. This is one oppression taken too far.
They kept saying they don’t want APC, that Delta state is a PDP state yet all the development we have today in Akwukwu Igbo were brought by the APC government.
New transformers came about 6 months ago, Rural electrification is near completion, soon to be commissioned.
Renovation of our primary schools with perimeter fencing. We have the Agbogidi primary school, Atuma Primary school etc.
Road projects are equally ongoing.
Akwukwu-Illa road project alone is about 4km, you also have Engr. Sunday Gbamdi road and others.
Why are we not going to join a party that has brought development to our communities?
Since we joined APC, they have been Using hoodlums and local vigilantes to unleash terror on us. We have reported to different authorities, yet the thugs are becoming more brazen. They boast openly that no one can arrest them because they are backed by powers from above.
Since they have openly sworn to use everything to fight APC out of the state and we, on our part, are equally resolute in our journey to bring development to our people through the APC led Federal Government, I use this medium to call on all security agencies and well meaning Nigerians to take urgent steps with a view to safeguarding my life and properties in Akwukwu-Igbo and the state in general, as well as calling all the aforementioned individuals and their enablers to order.
Chief Nelson Agbamuche
Odoziani of Akwukwu-Igbo
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