The kidnappers that invaded Lagos State Model College, Igbonla in Epe Thursday and went away with four students, a teacher and a vice principal ,are now demanding a ransom for their release.
The Nation learnt yesterday that the kidnappers contacted families of three of their hostages early yesterday to make the ransom demand.
The families refused to disclose how much was demanded of them,keeping to a warning by the hoodlums not to announce the sum.
The abduction is particularly excruciating for the parents of one of the abducted students,Ruth,whose father was away in Benue State to make arrangement for the burial of his own father when he received news of Ruth’s kidnapping.
He took the next available vehicle to return to Epe to see how he could get his daughter out of the kidnappers’ den.
Ruth’s was all tears yesterday as she,accompanied by friends and relations,stormed the school to seek information on her daughter.
Sources said the kidnappers contacted three families at 2am, 2:50am and 4am yesterday askig for ransom.
This informed an emergency meeting of the parents and school management yesterday.
It ended at about 5:30pm.
The kidnappers, it was learnt, warned the parents to not disclose the ransom demanded to security agencies.
They warned that failure to keep to their instruction would jeopardise the safety of their loved ones.
A relation of one of the victims said: “My sister’s phone rang and a male voice instructed her to leave the place if there was anyone with her.
“The stranger said he was calling in respect of our kidnapped relative. He warned that details of the conversation should be divulged to security agents.
“He threatened that if the instruction was not adhered to, the family would be held responsible for anything that happens to the victim.
“Yes, they demanded for ransom. But I cannot tell you in order not to jeopardize the safety of our relative. But they demanded of millions of naira. My sister pleaded with them to bring down the amount that her husband was at the moment out of job but the stranger did not respond.
“She also asked to speak with our relative with them, but the request was not granted. She was told that she would be allowed to do so after agreement was reached on the payment.”
According to a source, some personal effects of the victims, including a mobile phone which fell down while they were being whisked away were recovered.
Security agents yesterday intensified their search and rescue operations around Epe, Ikorodu and Ijebu-Ode, using air, land and waterways .
It was gathered that the security agencies were also tracking the kidnappers to ascertain their identities and exact location.
Efforts to get the police command’s spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent (SP) failed at the time of filing this report.
The Nation also gathered that Ruth’s parents were in his home state of Benue on Thursday to plan for his own father’s burial when news reached them about their daughter’s kidnap.
They quickly abandoned the burial arrangement to return to Epe.
Ruth’s mother wept uncontrollably yesterday as she alighted from the vehicle that conveyed the family to the school. The visibly worried father paced sorrowfully behind his wife as other relations also betrayed emotions.
Speaking with The Nation, one of the relations who identified herself as Ruth’s aunt, said: ” My aunt travelled with the husband for the father inlaw’s burial. It was her friend who also has a child in the school that called to inform her about the incident.
“ I live in Epe but wasn’t aware of the incident until my father called to inform me. I quickly made contact with the woman and ran down to the school to check. When I got here, we searched everywhere for Ruth but didn’t see her. We were told she was one of the victims.
“My sister and her husband returned from Benue today (Friday). They are inside the school with the management. We are yet to hear from the kidnappers. They are yet to call us to ask for ransom.”