Operatives of the Lagos Police Command have rescued two victims of kidnapping inside an Ikorodu forest.
Lagos Police Command have rescued two victims of kidnapping inside an Ikorodu forest.
The victims (names withheld) were rescued on Wednesday at Isiwu forest, near Imota.
It was learnt that they were kidnapped from their farm on March 26 by six gunmen who came in a boat and took them to the kidnappers’ makeshift den inside a thick forest.
But around 11:30 pm on Tuesday, operatives acting on information that the kidnappers were set to collect ransom from the owner of the farm, ambushed two of the criminals but were engaged in a gun battle which left one of the suspects fatally wounded while the other fled.
Narrating their ordeal, the victims who said they worked on the farm as managers and drivers, told reporters that the attackers demanded details of the farm’s strong room where the owner kept the money.
“I told them I know nothing about it as I was new on the farm. I only started working there in December. They took us into the forest and beat us thoroughly. The one they beat more was the driver because he told them he didn’t have any money in his account. They were using cutlasses to flog us.
“I transferred N55,000 from my account to them. Then, they called the owner of the farm and demanded N30m he told them he didn’t have it. They later reduced the money to N10m but he told them all he could get was N3m.
“We spent 10 days in the forest and were fed soaked garri and bushmeat. It was a wooden house built inside the forest. We were lying on the ground and were warned to not look them in the face. They blindfolded us the day after we got there.
“So, on the ninth day in the forest, they sent two of the kidnappers to go and collect the ransom from the agreed spot. But while we were in the bush, we started hearing gunshots and the remaining four fled in their boat. They told us to find our way but since it was night, we didn’t know which way to go.
“As we were still trying to escape, one of the kidnappers that went for the ransom came back, he traced our footsteps and caught us. He said our people played them and that he will kill us if we failed to cooperate.
“He changed our location and then said we should call our people to send N500,000 that will be given to the family of their colleague that was shot. The money was sent and then he released us to go and also fled.
“That was how we managed from the forest to the road where we begged people for assistance and when they asked why we were looking so dirty, we told them we were kidnapped and just regained freedom.
“It was someone who gave us N1,000 that we used to charter a tricycle to the farm where the police came and took us to the hospital for treatment,” said the manager.
The spokesperson for the Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin said the fatally injured kidnapper was taken to the hospital but was confirmed dead.
He said the operatives recovered a locally made rifle, four live cartridges and three mobile phones, two of which have been confirmed to belong to the kidnappers.
He said efforts were already on to arrest the fleeing suspects, adding that the police were working on some leads.
“They envisaged that the police might be involved, they already prepared an ambush but being experts at our games, we also planned a counter-ambush just in case.
“Our preparation paid off, there was a gun duel during which one of the kidnappers was hit, was injured, and was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.
“The others escaped. After that, we were scouting around the vicinity trying to get the victims. The next day we ran into the victims and rescued them.
“We brought them to the police hospital for medical treatment, we also brought our psychiatrists to do a mental health evaluation and so far they are responding fine. Any moment from now they will be discharged.
“We are working on getting the fleeing suspects. As they were escaping, they dropped firearms, and four live cartridges and we were able to recover three phones from that scene. We have commenced forensic analysis of the recovered items.”
Article Credit: The Nation