Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The kidnappers of the Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Folorunso Olabode, have reduced the ransom demanded from the family of their victim from the initial N30 million to N15 million, THISDAY has learnt.
The kidnappers had contacted the family and demanded N30 million as ransom to free the commissioner.
Olabode was kidnapped alongside another person by gunmen along Iludun-Isan road on his way from Ado-Ekiti to ye-Ekiti around 7.30 p.m on Sunday.
Another occupant of his vehicle, who was a councillor and House Leader at the Ilejemeje Local Government Area of the state was killed by the abductors.
A source close to the family told journalists yesterday in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, that the ransom was reduced during negotiations with the captors.
“The process of negotiation began on Monday and the initial request was a sum of N30 million.
“But as of today, Wednesday, the captors had reduced to N15 million. We are hoping that the commissioner will be released soon because we are all concerned about his safety,” he said.
Also speaking on efforts to secure Olabode’s release, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr. Sunday Abutu, said the police and other security networks were on the trail of the bandits.
Abutu added that the police and other security agents have begun stop-and-search along the route to ascertain the identities of commuters.
He said the police were not aware of any negotiation on the demand made by the abductors, adding that every security measures would be put in place to secure Olabode’s release.
“We are not aware that the bandits were requesting for any ransom, we have not been told.
“The police have begun serious security checks in that axis. We have taken strict security measures and we are closing in on them,” he added.