The gunmen who abducted some students and teachers at the Lagos Junior Model College, Igbonla, Epe, Lagos State, have released them in a dramatic fashion after they dropped their victims in a bush behind the school.
Punch reports that one of the parents of the four students said the victims were brought back by the kidnappers via the same channel they were abducted after six days in captivity.
The parent who did not want his name mentioned, continued that the that the kidnappers brought the abducted schoolboys, teacher, and the Vice Principal, to the area that they had passed through to invade the school in the morning of Thursday, October 6.
Some people who sighted the victims around 10.30pm on Tuesday, October 1, 2016, put calls across to their relations to announce their release.
The freed victims included four pupils, Emmanuel Okonkwo, Isaac Adebisi, Abu and Jeremiah, the English Language/Civic Education teacher, Lukman Oyerinde, and the Vice Principal, A.O. Oyesola.
It was learned that some families had paid the kidnappers the N1 million ransom for each victim before they were released.
It was also gathered that the victims were hidden in a creek in the Epe area, said to be about four hours’ sailing from the school.
The father of the student who was said to have fallen sick in the kidnappers’ den said was reported to have paid N1 million for his child.
“I went through hell to raise the money. The kidnappers, after playing pranks with us for two days, left them not far from the school.
I advise the state government to increase security in schools near waterways.”
However, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Dolapo Badmos, said it was the pressure mounted on the kidnappers by the police that forced them to abandon their victims and flee, insisting no ransom was paid for their release.
“The victims were rescued around 11pm and have been reunited with their families. No suspect has been arrested, but the police are on their trail, and there is no hiding place for criminals.
The police are not aware of the payment of any ransom. If the gunmen collected any money, it will be treated as robbery and they will be charged to court upon their arrest.”
But families of the victims are insisting that the police did not actually do much to ensure the release of their relations as they had to rally round to get the money to pay for their safe return.