A couple, Mr and Mrs Gbenga Ibikunle who were abducted along Uso – Owo highway in Ondo state have narrated how their abductors collected N2m cash along the highway before releasing them.
Recall that the couple who travelled to the wife’s home town in Ebonyi state with their three children were heading back to the state when they were kidnapped. While the couple were marched into the thick forest by the gunmen, their three children and the Lexus Jeep were abandoned on the highway.
They were released after spending three days in the kidnapper’s den.
Police PRO Tee Leo lkoro had claimed that two suspects were arrested after combing the forest by joint security operatives after the abductors demanded N2m ransom.
But while narrating their ordeal to newsmen in Akure, the husband, Gbenga Ibikunle said the claims by the security operatives that their release was secured by them was far from the truth.
According to him, ” it was my family members that paid the ransom demanded by the kidnappers. The security agencies were not involved in our release at all.
“We were travelling back from Ebonyi state to Akure on the 5th of January and when we got to Uso towards Ogbese, I saw a bike man riding in front of my car on the same direction. All of a sudden, he stopped and I hit him with my car.
“As I stopped to help the man alongside my wife, the kidnappers came out from the bush and started shooting for about 10 mins.
“They started beating me and later marched us into the bush and other suspects ransacked my car and carted away valuable items including the huge sum of money.
“My children wanted to follow us to where they were dragging us but the kidnappers chased them away back to the major road.
“We walked for like five hours inside the bush and later took us to where they keep other victims. They tied us down and started beating us again.
“We were in the bush with them for three good days without food. They treated us like criminals. They beat us with stick and cutlass.
“We met a man in their den, who was also released the same way we were. His own family parted with N10 million before he was released.
“At a point, they wanted to rape my wife, but she tricked them that she was three months pregnant.
“They later gave us a mobile phone to call our family demanding for N20m. At the end of the day, my family rally round and paid N2m. Other victims, we met there paid N10m and we were all released at the same spot.
“They collected the ransom along the road without being jittery. In fact, they counted all the money before they released me to my brother, who brought the N2 million.
“l was then surprised that police were claiming that they rescued me. This is nothing but a lie coming from the pit of hell.
“I can say it boldly that, no security agency came to our rescue. We were released around 1 am after ransom was paid to them.
“If the police were professional enough, they would have arrested them all because they came out on the major road to collect the ransom. They are just deceiving us all.”
The victim who said that their abductors are Fulani people lamented that Nigeria is in a big mess. We don’t have security in this country anymore. It is sad that our security agencies are not effective.
“The kidnappers carried out their operations with impunity. They boasted that they will kill any policeman that wanted to rescue us.
He said, “I am weeping for this country because we are not safe. We can no longer travel.”