Gunmen Hold Five Women Hostage, Demand N5m Ransom


James Sowole in Akure

Five of the 16 traders abducted at the weekend on the Akure-Owo highway in Ondo State have remained in the captivity of the gunmen.

The 16 traders were kidnapped while returning from a meeting in Akure on their way to Akoko area.

The state Police Command, however, said it rescued 10 of the women from their abductors and arrested four members of the gang.

It was gathered that one of the victims managed to escape.

The kidnappers, who initially demanded a ransom of N11 million before they could release their victims, have reduced the ransom to N5million.

One of the victims still in the kidnappers’ den is the Iyaloja of Isua, Akoko in Akoko South East Local Government Area, Chief Hellen Edward.

One of the children of the Iyaloja, who gave her name as Mrs. Alaba, said her mother spoke to family members, and urged them to look for the ransom to pay for her release.

Alaba said they were happy when they heard news of the rescue of some victims by the police, but later discovered that her mother was still in captivity.

She said the N5million demanded by the kidnappers is too much for the poor families to pay.

The state police spokesman, ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, said the policemen and other security agencies were combing the forest to secure the release of the victims.

Ikoro said the state Police Commissioner, Salami Bolaji, has ordered all police divisions in Akoko area to deploy operatives to the forest as well as secure the highway in the area.