Abducted Isheri North Secretary Regains Freedom

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Chiemelie Ezeobi

Five days after he was kidnapped from his residence at road 18, off Olusegun Tawoju Avenue, at Isheri North Estate, GRA, Lagos, Dr. Dayo Adekoya, the secretary of Isheri North Estate Residents Association, has been finally released by his abductors.

This is just as the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy will in the next few days begin aerial surveillance and water patrols respectively, in the area to rid the area of such criminal elements.

THISDAY also gathered that already the police in conjunction with the Nigerian Army have conducted a threat analysis of the area based on the increasing spate of kidnapping in the area.

The victim was kidnapped by a 20-man armed gang, who raided the estate last Thursday and killed three two local security operatives and a bricklayer and left two others badly injured.

Although mum has been the word on the part of the Adekoya family as regarding the victim’s whereabouts and ordeal, it was gathered that Adekoya was released after the family met the ransom demands.

Inquiries by THISDAY had revealed that the family had kept the police in the blind about their dealings with the kidnappers, preferring to secure his release first before the police can go after the suspects.

The kidnappers had earlier demanded for the sum of N100 million from the victim’s wife before it was first reduced to N80million and later N50million.

After the undisclosed sum of ransom was paid, the kidnappers had crossed the creeks and dropped off Adekoya at the canal close to his estate and sped off at about 3a.m.

As at press time, the traumatised victim was said to be undergoing medical examination in a private hospital pending his release to his family.

A visit to the estate showed the absence of his nuclear family members, although scores of neighbours and sympathiser had thronged to the residence to rejoice with them.

Despite his release, the houses near his residence, were bereft of people, as some of them were said to have fled their homes for fear of being abducted too.

Their fears are not unfounded given that about five cases of kidnapping have been recorded in that area in the past six months.

Some of the residents who spoke to THISDAY called on security agencies to provide the estate with adequate protection, adding that the frequent kidnap cases in the estate has become one too many.

They also urged the police as well as other security operatives to fish out the culprits as the residents can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed

The residents also appealed to the state government to help dredge the canal to make it easy for patrol, given that the hoodlums behind the abductions always come in and leave through the creeks.

The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, who had earlier confirmed this, also warned kidnappers to desist from such crimes or risk their lives.

Afterwards, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of Police, told newsmen that the inspector general of police has ordered that the perpetrators of the crime be fished out.

She said the Lagos command and operatives of the IG Intelligence Response Team (IRT) are partnering to ensure the prompt arrest of the offenders.

She said: “In our usual manner, they would be fished out. We are optimistic about that. Since the law of Lagos has spelt out the punishment for kidnapping and, this will be the first one since the governor consented to the law. It will serve as a deterrent to others.

“The family members are elated and thankful to the police. The community are also thankful that the police were able to quickly mobilise to disrupt their plans. They had planned to abduct more persons.”

On the threat analysis for the area she said, “Since we have no threat analysis of the area, we did one with the Nigerian Army to ascertain if those who live in the estate are under any form of danger.

“However, after the analysis, we could not find any. But nonetheless, and no matter how the terrain is, our duty is to ensure that the area is well protected.”

Badmos said the operatives of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and Nigerian Navy (NN) will soon begin an operation in that area.

She said, “In a few days time, the Nigerian Airforce personnel will be deployed to offer aerial patrol while the navy would patrol the creeks.

“We now have tight security network and since the  kidnappers can no longer attack in the day, they now operate at night. We are analysing the situation.”