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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Family of abducted sick Lagos schoolboy pays N1m ransom

Olaleye Aluko

The family of one of the four pupils of Lagos Junior Model College, Igbonla, Epe, Lagos State, who was reported to have fallen sick in kidnappers’ den, paid N1m ransom on Tuesday.

A source close to the family, who confirmed the development to PUNCH Metro, said the family expected the boy to be released.

The victims, who comprised four pupils –Okonkwo Emmanuel, Isaac Adebisi, Abu and Jeremiah – an English Language/Civic Education teacher, Lukman Oyerinde, and the Vice-Principal, A.O. Oyesola, were kidnapped on Thursday.

The attackers on Thursday, October 6, at about 8am, stormed the school premises while the junior school was rounding off the morning prayers.

Our correspondent had reported that the assailants, from Friday to Sunday, continued to call the families of the victims to negotiate the ransoms from N5m to N3.5m and then to N1m for each victim.

The gunmen on Saturday had also fired a warning gunshot on the telephone, while ordering the family of one of the victims to hasten on the ransom.

On Sunday, they had called again to inform the family of the schoolboy that their son had fallen sick.

PUNCH Metro had reported on Tuesday that the kidnappers had called the family that the pupil’s health had deteriorated, adding that his ransom had to be paid urgently.

It was learnt on Tuesday that the family of the schoolboy, who fell sick in the kidnappers’ hideout, had taken N1m to a place of agreement.

The place was not disclosed to PUNCH Metro.

The source told our correspondent that the family members were awaiting the return of the schoolboy.

She said, “The ransom was paid on Tuesday. But he has not been released. There is a rumour that he will be back tomorrow (Wednesday). The family members paid N1m ransom. They took the money to the agreed location which was not disclosed as ordered by the gunmen.

“The relations had earlier offered a swap of the sick boy with a relation, begging the kidnappers that they were concerned about his deteriorating health, but the kidnappers had declined the offer.”

Our correspondent learnt from another source that the victims in the kidnappers’ hideout were more than the four pupils, the teacher and the VP, as three other residents in the Ikorodu and Epe areas were reportedly abducted on Friday and Saturday.

The phone number of one of the parents of the schoolboy had yet to connect as of press time on Tuesday.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, had yet to respond to a text message sent to her phone on the development.

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