Kidnappers contact family of abducted Lagos pupils, demand N1bn ransom 

Kidnappers demand N1bn ransom for four abducted Lagos pupils

Afeez Hanafi

Kidnappers of six pupils of Igbonla Model College , Epe , Lagos State , have contacted some parents of the victims , demanding N1 bn ransom to release them.

SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that the parents were contacted on Saturday and allowed to briefly speak with their children . While two of them were asked to pay N400 m each , another two were told to raise N100 m per child .

They were reportedly told to meet with the school authorities and the state government to raise the money .

However , details of ransoms demanded from the remaining parents had yet to be ascertained by our correspondent as of the time of filing this report .

The gunmen had gained entry into the school premises at about 6 am on Thursday through the creek at the back of the college and headed for the boys ’ hostel after breaking the school fence .

They broke the hostel doors , seized 10 senior secondary school pupils and led them to the shore where their boat was parked.

After profiling their family backgrounds , four pupils were released , while the assailants whisked away the remaining six pupils identified as Peter Jonah , Isiaq Rahmon , Adebayo George , Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf .

It was reported that the gunmen had written the school authorities three days before the incident , informing them of the attack .

They made good their threat in the dawn after policemen and soldiers, who repelled an attack around 8 pm on Wednesday , left the school .

In the wake of the abduction , parents and guardians thronged the college to pick their children and wards , blaming the incident on the poor security in the school .

Some parents of the abducted schoolchildren , who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity , said the kidnappers called between 3 pm and 5 pm on Saturday.

A parent said , “ They allowed me to speak with my son . I asked him if he was fine and he said yes . They asked me to meet with the school authorities to raise N400 m for my child to be released . ”

Another parent of one of the pupils said they begged the kidnappers that they had only menial jobs when they demanded the same amount.

“ I said N 400m was much, but one of them told me not to worry myself . He said I should meet with the school authorities and the government . I was also allowed to speak with my child . I spoke with two other parents and they said they were asked to pay N100 m each , ” the parent said .

When contacted on the telephone , the school Vice Principal, Academic, who did not disclose his name , said , “ I ’ m sorry. I cannot volunteer information for you . I ’ m not permitted to speak to you . Thank you . ”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer , ASP Olarinde Famous- Cole , said the police had yet to be informed about the ransoms , adding that investigations were ongoing .

Meanwhile , a resident of Epe , who spoke on condition of anonymity , said security had also been beefed up around the college , following a clash between the security agents and the suspects .

He explained that the clash forced some residents of Ode village, a riverine community in Ogun State which shares border with Epe , to desert the area.

The resident added , “I have been to the school twice today ( Saturday) and I saw many security men at the roundabout leading to the school . At the school gate , there were armed policemen and soldiers. I also saw some members of vigilance group around the school premises. ”
Source: The Punch

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