Tag Archives: Lagos

Kidnappers’ den discovered in Lagos, mob set two suspects ablaze

Lagos residents uncover kidnappers’ den, set two suspects ablaze

Afeez Hanafi

Obadeyi – Ijaiye end of the Lagos -Abeokuta Expressway was home to a mammoth crowd on Tuesday following the discovery of a suspected kidnappers ’ den in the area.

Clothes , slippers , bags , among other items , were reportedly found in an uncompleted building at the end of a tunnel in the area .

The crowd laid siege to the hideout from 7 am till evening , during which five persons , suspected to be kidnappers and ritual killers , were accosted while trying to escape from the tunnel , which was part of a canal in the area .
Two of them were set ablaze by a mob while policemen rescued three others from the scene.

PUNCH Metro learnt that a highway sweeper with the Lagos State Waste Management Agency was on morning duty when she heard the voice of a woman calling for help from the canal .

The sweeper was said to have raised the alarm, which drew the attention of residents and security guards attached to a bank along the expressway.

The canal linked the two sides of the expressway.

A resident , Bola Salaudeen , explained that as people maintained vigilance at both sides , one of the suspects came out around 8 am .

Salaudeen said , “ People asked him what he was doing in the canal , but he insisted he would not say anything about his mission there. They demanded to know the whereabouts of the woman calling for help; he said he would never divulge any information even if they killed him .

“ Despite the beating he got , he didn ’ t disclose any information . Some angry boys put a tyre on him and set him ablaze. As the fire raged on , another suspect came out from the other end of the canal . He said they were about 20 in the canal . The policemen did not allow him to say more than that before they took him away . Around 12 pm , two other persons fled from the canal . People chased and caught them. They were also rescued by the police . ”

A mechanic , who identified himself only as Friday, said some members of the Oodua People ’ s Congress eventually summoned up courage and went into the canal .

“ They discovered that there was a gate in the middle of covered area of the canal . They saw another suspect there. They dragged him out and a mob set him ablaze. We believe more people are still in the canal , ” he added .

Our correspondent heard a man at the scene of the incident saying the abducted woman was almost unconscious by the time she came out and was rushed to a hospital .

He , however , refused to speak further when our correspondent approached him .

But other eyewitnesses, who spoke with PUNCH Metro , said no woman was rescued.

One of them, Sumbo Kolade , said people wanted to storm an uncompleted building beside the canal after some human effects were discovered there.

He said , “Policemen didn ’ t allow people to enter the building . New clothes , slippers , bags and some other items were found there . It is possible those items are effects of victims they had abducted.

“ The mob threw stones and bottles at the building . In the process , an object hit a man , who wanted to have a glance at the items inside the building . The object inflicted a cut on his back . ”

Our correspondent was told that the occupants of the ground floor of a two – storeyed building at the back of the uncompleted building had moved out because of flood .

However , those who live on the other floors declined comments when our correspondent asked if they were aware of any unlawful activities in the vicinity .

A shop owner , Amira Gbadebo, said , “ The police should interrogate residents living around that canal . A lout who managed to enter the building said he saw bloodstains on some clothes found there . I was surprised that criminals could be hiding in a canal . Their victims are usually people who go out early in the morning and return home late . ”

A community leader , who did not want his name in print , said a similar discovery was made at Ahmadiyya bus stop – some distance away from Obadeyi – in 2008 .

He said , “When some of the suspects were arrested then , they claimed that they had killed a lot of people and that they supplied their body parts to some highly placed Nigerians . ”

As of 7 pm , a resident told PUNCH Metro on the telephone that the crowd had not dispersed , adding that senior police officers had been visiting the scene .

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police , Fatai Owoseni , who visited the scene , said the police would carry out scientific investigation on the items recovered , adding that it was too early to say that the tunnel and the building were used for ritual or kidnapping purposes.

He said , “At about 9 am , there was a shout from a female in distress under that tunnel . The people in the area contacted the DPO who rushed to the scene .

“ The DPO and the crowd removed the woman. While they were doing that , they found out that two persons were also coming out from the tunnel .

“ They believed those people were pursuing the woman. When the police wanted to take them into custody , the crowd surged and put fire on them. A policeman was badly injured .

“ Reinforcement got there and trailed that tunnel to the building , where they saw clothes and bags . The building looks like a place where criminals share their loot.

“ About seven persons that emerged from that building are in custody now . It became necessary that we do a thorough scientific profiling of the place. We have to send our sniffer dogs to the place . We have appealed to the crowd that jungle justice is not the way . ”
Source: The Punch

Two die as LUTH confirms Lassa fever outbreak in Lagos

Panic as LUTH confirms Lassa fever outbreak in Lagos

By Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor | 

• Resident doctor infected, isolated in hospital’s ward

There is the fear of an outbreak of Lassa fever in the country as the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) yesterday confirmed that two patients treated have died within a few days of admission in the past one week.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, told journalists that the two patients who were at the advanced stage of the infection died despite efforts to save their lives.

“The first was a 32-year-old pregnant lady with bleeding disorder who died after a stillbirth. Post-mortem examination had been conducted before her Lassa fever status was eventually suspected and confirmed. No less than 100 different hospital workers exposed to this index case are currently being monitored,” he said.

Bode, who is also a professor of paediatrics, said a resident doctor from the Department of Anatomic and Molecular Pathology who took part in the autopsy was later confirmed with the disease and is currently on admission and responding well to treatment at the Isolation Ward of LUTH.

The CMD who visited the Isolation Centre yesterday in the company of his top management staff assured doctors of the hospital’s full support.

The paediatric surgeon enjoined all LUTH workers to maintain a heightened level of alert in the wake of this new outbreak and observe universal precautions in handling all suspected cases of this viral hemorrhagic fever.

He urged Nigerians to notify the response team in LUTH in case of any suspected case of Lassa fever through the following phone numbers : 08058019466, 08058744780, 07035521015 and 08023299445.

The medical expert noted that LUTH has always worked closely with officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health in handling a number of diseases of public importance such as rabies, cholera, Lassa fever and the recent diarrhoea disease at the Queen’s College. He said both the Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health have responded swiftly to contain the current Lassa fever outbreak by mobilising human and material resources to trace the sources and extent of the disease, follow up on potential contacts, identify early and test suspected cases.

The LUTH boss said there were adequate materials for the containment of the disease while drugs have been made available to treat anyone confirmed to have it. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Nigeria has also been contacted and two other suspected cases from Lagos State are also currently admitted and quarantined while confirmatory laboratory tests are ongoing.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of two-21 days duration that occurs in West Africa. The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces. Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.

Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well. The overall case-fatality rate is one per cent. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalised with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15 per cent.

It has been shown that early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival.

The virus is zoonotic, or animal-borne. About 80 per cent of human infections are without symptoms; the remaining cases have severe multiple organ disease, where the virus affects several organs in the body, such as the liver, spleen and kidneys. Lassa fever is a significant cause of severe illness and death.

According to the WHO, the reservoir or host of the Lassa virus is the “multimammate rat” called mastomys natalensis which has many breasts and lives in the bush and around residential areas. The virus is shed in the urine and droppings of the rats hence can be transmitted through direct contact, touching objects or eating food contaminated with these materials or through cuts or sores. Transmission also occurs in health facilities where infection prevention and control practices are not observed.

A WHO fact sheet on Lassa fever noted that it occurs in all age groups and both sexes. Persons at greatest risk are those living in rural areas where mastomys are usually found, especially in communities with poor sanitation or crowded living conditions. Health workers are at risk if Lassa fever is not suspected or while caring for Lassa fever patients in the absence of proper barrier nursing and infection control practices.

According to the WHO, the onset of the disease, when it is symptomatic, is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, muscle and joint pains, prostration and malaise. After a few days, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, and abdominal pain may follow. In severe cases facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop. Protein may be noted in the urine. Shock, seizures, tremor, disorientation, and coma may be seen in the later stages. Deafness occurs in 25 per cent of patients who survive the disease. In half of these cases, hearing returns partially after one – three months. Transient hair loss and gait disturbance may occur during recovery. Patients may die from shock.

The only known specific treatment for Lassa fever is Ribavirin which may be effective if given within the first six days of illness.

It should be given intravenously for ten (10) days. Supportive treatment should include; Paracetamol, Vitamin K (Phytamenadione), Heamacel, Ringers lactate, antimalaria and antibiotics- start by I.V. If patient is severely anaemic, consider transfusion.

Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine that protects against Lassa fever.

According to the WHO, prevention of Lassa fever relies on promoting good “community hygiene” to discourage rodents from entering homes. Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home and maintaining clean households.

Before now and besides Lagos, active transmission of Lassa fever has been reported in five states (Bauchi, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, and Plateau) in the past three weeks. Altogether, 13 new suspected cases were reported from four states during the last week of July: Plateau (five), Ondo (five) Bauchi (two), and Ogun (one), including two deaths.

Nigeria is one of several West African countries in which Lassa fever is endemic, with seasonal outbreaks occurring annually between December and June. In 2016, the country reported 273 suspected cases and 149 deaths (case fatality rate 55 per cent) from 23 states. In 2017, Benin, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, and Togo experienced outbreaks that have since been controlled.

The current outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria, however, is continuing beyond the normal season.

This persistent Lassa fever outbreak comes against the background of a protracted humanitarian crisis in the northern part of the country, as well as outbreaks of cholera and hepatitis E.

Source: The Guardian

​No going back on relocation of Computer Village,  Lagos government insists

No going back on relocation of Computer Village, says Lagos government
By Gbenga Salau and Godwin Dunia | 

Ikeja Model City Master Plan designated the computer village for residential use and that the government would adhere to the plans to make the area more organised and habitable.

Election tribunal begins sitting over council poll

The Lagos State Government yesterday said it would not reverse it decision to relocate the Computer Village from its present location at Otigba, Ikeja.

This, it stated, was in its commitment to achieve the objectives of the renewed Ikeja Model City Master Plan originally conceived to address infrastructure challenges in the city.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, said that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was desirous of making Ikeja a model city and would leave no stone unturned in actualising the relocation of the Computer Village to the new site in Katangowa, Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area in line with the new Master Plan.

He said the Ikeja Model City Master Plan designated the computer village for residential use and that the government would adhere to the plans to make the area more organised and habitable.

Ayorinde, however, explained that the state government had not given permits to any individual or organisation for the construction of an ICT specialised mall directly beside the newly built Ikeja Bus Terminal, adding that such move was not in line with government’s regeneration plan for the capital city.

He disclosed that the government had met with the executive members of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) where it reiterated its commitment to the relocation plan.

Meanwhile, the Local Government Election Petition Tribunal will commence

sitting from today, August 7 to August 11, 2017 in line with provisions in the electoral law for aggrieved parties that participated in the July 22 council election to seek redress.

A statement from the Chief Register of the High Court of Lagos State, Mrs. A.O Soladoye, said: “The tribunal is a platform for those who participated in the election to seek redress through a legal process and in accordance with relevant laws and legislations”.

The statement added that the tribunal under the Chairmanship of Justice Olateru Olagbegi (rtd), will be sitting at High Court 1 Igbosere, Lagos.

Also, the Ikeja Division of the Election Petition Tribunal under the Chairmanship of Folasade Adetiba would sit at the Roseline Omotosho Courthouse in Ikeja.
Source: The Guardian

Ikeja LG clerk kidnapped

Ikeja LG clerk kidnapped

By Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Clerk of Ikeja Local Government Area, Mr. Shamsideen Abiodun Omotayo, has been abducted by some unknown gunmen at the Imota area of Lagos.

Although details surrounding his abduction are still sketchy, it was gathered that he was kidnapped at the wee hours of Wednesday while on his way to work.

The Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency (LNSA) Public Relations Officer, Mr. Afolabi Olawale, confirmed the incident.

​How Lagos council poll was won and lost

How Lagos council poll was won and lost

LASIEC Chairman, Justice Ayotunde Phillips

By Abdullateef Aliyu
The apprehension that preceded the July 22 election into the 20 local governments (LGs) and 37 local council development areas (LCDAs) in Lagos can be blamed on lack of internal democracy among political parties, which analysts say remains the bane of the country’s democratic experiment. Our correspondent chronicles how the contest was lost and won.

Seventy-two hours to the election, the tension was palpable. Allegations flew here and there both within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition parties. In the APC, the tension was more evident. Aspirants were more vociferous in their condemnation of the selection method adopted in choosing the candidates. Hopes were dashed, aspirations were truncated and the selection process was subjected to the whims and caprices of the “power that be”. In the end, protests and agitations became the order of the day.

The Lagos State House of Assembly was also accused of aggravating the tension when five days to the election, it amended the electoral laws establishing the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC). According to the lawmakers, the amendment was aimed at “creating clarity and removing all forms of ambiguity” in the state’s existing electoral laws.

Key sections of the law that were amended included Sections 28 and 62(1). The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, also explained that the amendment would “create more participation in the electoral process as well as create flexibility for the commission to effectively carry out its duties”.

The implication of the amendment was that political parties were allowed to replace candidates three days to the election. It was learnt that the amendment was to enable the APC conduct the court-ordered primary for Odi Olowo Local Council Development Areas. Following the conduct of the primary, protesters took to the streets demanding the expulsion of Dr. Muiz Banire, APC National Legal Adviser for alleged anti-party activities after the latter insisted on the conduct of primaries to pick candidates in the council.

The Odi Olowo controversy was however a phase in the series of protests over the way and manner candidates were chosen by the ruling party. Attempts by the party to allegedly impose candidates were initially responsible for the botched primaries conducted at the Surulere National Stadium on May 28, which ended in violence with the electoral committee chairman, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, scampering for safety.

After the botched exercise, tension and uncertainty pervaded the party in the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas. The party did not however hold another primary. Instead, it resorted to, according to a party leader, “utilize its internal mechanisms to select the best candidates for the party”. Prior to the conduct of the primary, National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had announced automatic ticket for 18 candidates as a “reward” for their contributions to APC victory in 2015.

Two weeks and even a week to the election, many aspirants were in the dark over their fate. They clearly could not tell which name would be sent to LASIEC. An aspirant in Ojokoro LG whose name was touted as the likely candidate told our correspondent he was not sure of his candidacy as he claimed some party leaders were plotting to replace him. Eventually his fear came to pass as his name was replaced with another.

Another aspirant, a woman, was also exasperated that she was edged out of the race by some party leaders in her local government. She said the development was instigated by her gender though the party debunked the claim.

One aspirant also cried out to Tinubu, disclosing that as an aspirant, she was persuaded to step down on the agreement that she would be given vice-chairmanship slot. However, the slot slipped away from her reach as it was given to another person who is believed to be a relative of a prominent financier of the party. She is now appealing to the party leaders to consider her for a Supervisory Councillor position. Most of the aspirants went to the poll battered, shattered and wounded over what they call, ‘imposition’ of candidates.

There was tension and apprehension. Violence was brewing especially in Mushin area of Lagos and amidst the unfolding hullabaloo, the state Assembly passed the amendment to the law which empowered political parties to substitute candidate at the 11th hour. Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), an election monitoring group expressed worry over the dimension the election was taking. It particularly faulted the speed with which the legislators amended the LASIEC laws, pointing out that such an amendment could cast aspersion on the credibility of the election.

Chairman of TMG, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi and the South-West coordinator of the group, Sulaimon Arigbagbu in a statement said, “Conduct of credible, free, fair and legitimate elections cannot be achieved in this kind of arrangement with an amendment taken place just three days to election.”

It called on LASIEC to ensure highest standard in the conduct and administration of the LG/LCDAs elections, by carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with law, and without fear or favour.

It expressed worry “about the incessant violence in some areas of Lagos, particularly in Mushin, due to issues surrounding the nomination of candidates and the tension building up in some quarters due to undemocratic activities of some of the major political parties in the run up to the election and the impact of such tension on the coming elections.”

Also Activist for Good Governance (AGG) also faulted the process leading to the election. National Chairman of AGG, Comrade Declan Ihekaire was of the view that the APC did not act well in its candidates’ selection process. In his address tagged, ‘Democracy of power show and political godfatherism’, Declan declared that certain influential persons had been tinkering with the psyche of the electorates by way of imposition.

However, despite the apprehension preceding the polls, the D-Day came and the exercise was conducted without much hassles. It was a cold morning on the streets of Lagos. The weather was cloudy and it was apparent it would be a rainy day in Lagos metropolis. As the exercise was on-going, it drizzled all the way. This was preceded by an early morning downpour which caused flood in some parts of the state. This prevented electoral officials from accessing some polling units as they were generally flooded.

The election was generally peaceful in most parts of the state amidst tight security as there was restriction of vehicular movement until 3 pm. Many Lagosians stayed indoors throughout the day leaving some polling units virtually deserted. Youths temporarily turned major roads and streets to football pitches, showing little or no concern for the election.

At the end of the exercise, the APC cleared the 57 chairmanship seats and 369 councillorships while PDP and Accord Party won four and three councillorship slots respectively, according to LASIEC. The final figures released by LASIEC showed that the PDP won in Ward C, Agege LGA; Ward A, Itire Ikate LCDA; Ward D, Ikorodu LGA and Ward A in Oriade LCDA while Accord won Ward E in Agege LGA, Ward D, Ikosi Isheri LCDA and Ward E, Somolu Local Government.

Just as the APC was enmeshed in crisis before the election, the PDP crisis was even more complicated following an alliance the party under Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee had with Labour Party before the election. While many thought that with the victory of the Makarfi group at the Supreme Court against the former Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, the party would cut its ties with Labour, it insisted on going ahead with the alliance. This, some observers believe, was its greatest undoing as the party went to poll fragmented and incapacitated to compete with the ruling party.

Our correspondent gathered that while the PDP leadership backed its candidates who contested under LP, some of their members actually used the platform of Accord Party which explains the split results in the councillorship tallies.

In Agege for instance, the PDP, by the result announced would have probably defeated APC, if it had not gone to poll divided. The results from the council showed that APC candidate polled 5,967 votes while PDP and Accord scored 3, 648 and 2, 054 respectively. In other local governments, it was Labour Party that trailed the APC.

At the time of filing this report, the PDP was yet to officially speak on the outcome of the election but it was learnt that some of the candidates have been given the go ahead to approach the tribunal to challenge results of some councils where they feel necessary.

The APC National Chairman hailed the exercise while thanking the people of Lagos State for trooping out to vote for the party.

Asked on the crisis over the primaries, he said, “is it not politics? You must have twists and turns…If you are a popular party, there’s no way you will not face the turbulence of democracy.

“When we have 57 local governments and local council development areas, the problem is that you have many people willing to use your party’s platform but you can only have one chairman, one councillor in a ward and you have many people fighting for slots”.

As the elected chairmen were sworn-in on Tuesday, the next challenge would be to explore avenues of pacifying the aggrieved in order to ensure smooth running of the councils and unite the party.

How we were beaten, denied food, threatened by kidnappers

Horrors of 65 days in kidnappers’ den: We were beaten, denied of food after…

We were beaten, denied of food after our parents refused to pay ransom money – Freed Lagos student

•Says they feared the worst could happen

•Speaks about journey into captivity and life in three different camps

•The dramatic release

•Parents narrate ordeals

By Evelyn Usman, Bose Adelaja & Monsur Olowoopejo

Released after 64 days in captivity, one of the six students of Lagos Model College, Igbonla, Epe, yesterday, narrated their horrifying experience in kidnappers’ den.

According to him, they were held in three camps at different times.
The boy, who spoke anonymously because the released students had allegedly been asked not to speak to journalists by security agents, said they were beaten by their captors and starved of food because their parents refused to pay the ransom they (kidnappers) demanded.

The students, abducted on May 25 after some gunmen stormed their school, had been released to security agents in Ondo State on Friday.

They were brought to Lagos, yesterday, and received by the state Deputy Governor, Dr (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule.

Later yesterday, the students were handed over to their parents after undergoing treatment at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

Some of the parents, however, said they would take their children to other hospitals for more treatment, even as they expressed appreciation to Lagos State government for picking the bills for the boys’ treatment at LASUTH.

One of the parents who allowed her son to speak with Sunday Vanguard before taking him to a private hospital in Ajah, insisted his story must be told on strict condition of anonymity, adding that they were under instruction from security agents not to speak to journalists on their kidnapping.

Narrating his story, the boy said:

“We were taken away in speed boats on the day the kidnappers struck.

“They told us not to play smart by attempting to put up any struggle, saying it would lead to our death. We sailed for close to two hours before we reached a camp made of woods. We met another group of people at the camp eating and drinking. One of them was directed to take our parents telephone numbers, after they announced to us that we had been kidnapped.

“We spent two days at the camp before we were relocated. Nobody could tell the exact time they relocated us because it was dark”.

The boy explained that at the second camp, three of them were allowed to speak with their parents. “At a point, we lost count of the number of days we had spent in captivity.

“By this time, they started beating us. We were also starved of food because they said our parents were not cooperating with them and that they had run out of food stuff.

‘’Whenever they beat us, one of them would caution them to stop, that we were not responsible for the delay in payment. One day, we overheard them saying that some of their members had been arrested. They became furious and blamed the cause on our parents’ delay to pay. This was when they became brutal. We feared the worst could happen.

‘’I fasted and prayed fervently for God’s intervention during my stay with them.

“Again, like the first time, one of them woke us, while sleeping, to go into a boat. This time around, they took us on a journey that took several hours before we got to the third camp. None of us knew where we were. Sometimes they would threaten us that we were at a point of no return, if the money they needed was not brought.

“Ironically, it was at this camp that we were well fed. At times they gave us pounded yam and Egusi soup, jollof rice and noodles.

According to him, on the day they were released, the kidnapped boys had thought they were being relocated again.

“Even when the security agents that came to pick us arrived, we thought they were another group of captors because some of our captors also wore uniforms,”he said.

“I am happy to be back home”.

Our ordeals — Parents

Meanwhile, another parent of one of the released students said her son fell ill in the kidnappers’ den due to the harsh condition he was exposed to.

Yet another, Mr Moruf Ramon, disclosed that he slumped during the period of waiting for his son’s return.
The former stated that her son had only resumed school, after being discharged from the hospital, when he was abducted.

She added that they were informed that he fell ill again while in the captors den.

The parent however, declined request to speak with her son. Her words: “Please you can’t speak with him because he has really gone through a lot. He took ill while with them because of the trauma he faced.

“ He was examined on Friday night and the doctors told us to come back to the hospital. But he is okay now”.

Well wishers besieged the home of Mr. Ramon who expressed gratitude to the police, particularly Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, and the Commander, Rapid Response Squad, Olatunji Disu, for keeping in touch with the affected families during their moments of trouble.

“Both officers really changed my perspective about the police. They were so encouraging,’’ he said.

“I was the kidnappers’ contact person and for three days, we (parents) were meeting at Epe. The CP was aware of our meeting and he guided us on every step we took”.

He disclosed that during the long wait for the students, he was admitted three times in the hospital.

“It was a terrible period for my family. My wife isn’t here now because she is still receiving treatment. The shock hit her terribly. For me, I became a shadow of myself. I slumped and was on admission for days. The period of waiting was a period of sleepless nights. Do you know what it means for your first son to be with criminals for that long? It was not easy at all”.
Source: Vanguard

Freed Lagos students recount ordeal in kidnappers’ den 

We bathed once a week, ate once a day, slept in the rain — Freed Lagos pupil


AFEEZ HANAFI and PETER DADA

One of the freed pupils of the Lagos State Model College , Igbonla , Epe , Ramon Isiaq , has said his stay in the kidnappers ’ hideout is an experience he would never forget in a hurry .

The 16 – year – old Senior Secondary School 2 pupil said the abductors exposed him and his colleagues – Peter Jonah , Adebayo George , Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf – to rains in the camp they were kept .

He said they were fed with poorly cooked food and that they were only allowed to bathe once in a week.

The children were dropped at a creek in Ondo State around 12 pm on Friday after spending 64 days in captivity .

They were reunited with their parents in Lagos later .

Their release came on the heels of fresh N 5 m ransom collected by the kidnappers on Tuesday at Odi- Omi community in Ogun State .

Isiaq in a brief chat with one of our correspondents on the telephone on Saturday said there were times they went hungry all day .

He said , “ After they kidnapped us that day (May 25 ), we were kept around our school , while a (police ) helicopter was patrolling the area . They asked us to hide in a bush so that people in the helicopter would not see us . In the midnight , they sent a boat to pick us .

“ The following day , they gave us spaghetti . We ate the same thing in the afternoon and evening. They told us that some security men were sent to fight them , but they killed the men . They threatened that we would die there.

“ We were seven in an uncompleted building . The seventh person is a man that was looking after us . It was a bad experience . We didn ’ t enjoy our sleep. We always prayed that rain would not fall . If rain fell , it would beat us . Sometimes , they didn ’ t give us food ; at times they gave us food once in a day . At other times , they wouldn ’ t give us food at all. We ate together . We bathed once or twice in a week . ”

At a point , Isiaq stated that he and the other pupils complained about their maltreatment to the leader of the kidnap gang .

“ After some time , I met with their boss called ‘ Chief’ or ‘ Chairman ’ that we did not enjoy the food they cooked for us and that we should be allowed to prepare our food by ourselves . They didn ’ t allow us to move around …” the Lagos pupil stated as his father stopped the conversation .

The father promised SUNDAY PUNCH that Isiaq would speak more with one of correspondents about his experience later in the day .

However , subsequent calls made to the father’ s telephone line were not picked.

Also , parents of the other pupils rescued from the kidnappers did not allow SUNDAY PUNCH to speak with the freed kids .

They also declined to share any experience the kids narrated to them with one of our correspondents .

After some persuasion , one of the parents who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity told SUNDAY PUNCH that her son took ill while held hostage by the kidnappers .

“ We have been told not to ask them any question , except they decide to talk about their experience . So , I wouldn ’ t want to expose him to any danger . But so far , he told me they were moved from one camp to another and that they were cooking by themselves at a point . He also fell sick while in captivity . While the school was in second term , he was ill and was recuperating when the abduction happened . I think the kind of environment he was exposed to by those guys made him to fall sick again . He is relaxed now.

“ He said one of the camps was built with straw and that the kidnappers mounted a tarpaulin to cover them when the rain was much. They allowed them to move around and did not maltreat them. One of them, ( Isiaq ) who can swim had started teaching them how to do so . My son told me they were wearing black clothes before they gave them the jerseys they wore yesterday ( Friday) . The jerseys had been collected for laboratory examination, ” she said .

Meanwhile , a security source has denied that extra N5 m was paid before the pupils were freed.

A top security officer who spoke on condition of anonymity told SUNDAY PUNCH that it was the extra efforts put in place by the Deputy Governor of Ondo State , Agboola Ajayi, which led to their release .

The source disclosed that Ajayi and one of his aides , both of whom hail from Ese Odo Local Government Area , with another ex – militant went to the creek on the order of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to negotiate the release of the children with the kidnappers .

“ No ransom was paid as far we are concerned . The deputy governor went into the creek with one of his aides known as Donald Ojogo , without any security detail because the militants ( abductors ) warned them against coming with security operatives ; that if they came with security men , they would kill the pupils . He knows the terrain ( of the creek ) .

“ They also warned the government to move away gunboats of the Navy and the police from the waterways in Lagos , Ogun and Ondo states . They spoke with the deputy governor in pidgin English . They told him they were indigenes of Ondo State and that they wanted to be included in the amnesty programme of the Federal Government. They said they would release the pupils and the Federal Government too should include them in amnesty programme, ” the source stated .
Source: The Punch