A 31year old farm manager who was kidnapped alongside his colleague in their farm located in Isio community Ikorodu area of Lagos has revealed that they were fed a local staple called garri throughout their stay in kidnapper’s den.
According to the poultry farmer manager, names withheld, we were made to drink garri. Sometimes they use bush meat or fish to make soup, which we eat with dirty water. They had the food items already before we got there.”
Describing where they were held hostage for ten days, the rescued farm manager who is currently undergoing treatment at the Police hospital in Ikeja said “The place where we were kept was like a makeshift house built with palm fronts, it is just the roof that is covered and the sides are open. And the kidnappers spoke Ijaw language fluently”
Speaking to webteam@ipledge2nigeria correspondent, at the hospital, he said “We were kidnapped around 4 pm on the 26th of March while working on the farm. They were about six kidnappers that came for the operation; they ordered us to lie on the ground. They asked who the boss is. We told them that the boss was not around. They then asked who the manager is. I said I am the manager.”
“They kidnapped the farm driver and I to the forest. It is a local canoe they used to escape. The den is located close to a river. I was begging them that I don’t know anything; I just got employed in December 2022. When they were asking about the room where our boss kept the money, I told them that I don’t know anything about money. I explained to them that the supply we do people pay through transfers to our boss’s account. They only give me the list and I go and supply.”
While we were in the forest, they called our boss and demanded the sum of N20 million which was later reduced to three million naira.”
“When my boss told them that he didn’t have the money to pay for our ransom, the kidnappers kept bullying and beating us. They beat the farm driver severely because he didn’t have any money to give them. I transferred N55,000 to their account so the beating I received was a bit mild compared to the driver. They threatened to cut my colleague’s hand.”
Explaining further, the farm manager said that for the number of days we spent there, we were drinking garri. Usually, they use bush meat or fish to make soup, which we eat with dirty water. They had the food items already before we got there. The place where we were kept was like a makeshift house built with palm fronts, it is just the roof that is covered and the sides are open. And the kidnappers spoke Ijaw language fluently”
All of a sudden on the 9th day, my boss called them to say that he has the three million naira ransom so they can release us. The Kidnappers assigned two of them to go and collect the ransom. While we waited in the forest. It was while they went to get the ransom that they were ambushed by the police. During the gun duel, one of them was killed by the police while the other came back to the forest to notify the others. When we heard the gunshots the other kidnappers ran away, they left us there, they said when it is dawn we should find our way back home. The forest is very large and there is nowhere to escape. That night it was at about 2 am in the middle of the night so we decided to wait till morning so we could find our way.”
While we were waiting, the kidnapper escaped met us in the forest. He was very angry that we sent police to ambush them. We were pleading with him that we had nothing to do with the police. He then asked us to call our boss and demanded the sum of 500k so they could give it to the family of the kidnapper who was killed. My boss said he should send account details which he did.”
It was one of them gave us directions on how to get to the road, that was how we managed, we walked through the swamp, to the road where we meet some people and told them to help us that we were kidnapped they gave us directions, they asked us why we were looking so weary, dirty and unkept we explained to them that we were kidnapped. One of them helped us with a thousand naira which we used to board a bike to the junction before we got Keke to our farm. The police now met us at our farm and took us to the hospital.
Speaking on how the victims were rescued the spokesperson Lagos State Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin said on the 26th of March 2023, kidnappers numbering about six invaded a farm in Ikorodu part of Lagos state where they kidnapped two people, the farm manager and one other.”
Hundeyin said that “We got wind of the information and went into action, we were keeping tabs, so the kidnappers made contact with the owner of the farm demanding 20 million, and we deployed our intelligence resources. So on the 4th of April at 11:30 pm our operatives stormed the forest where the victims were being kept. That was the day the kidnappers were looking for the ransom of three million naira.
They envisaged that the police might be involved, they already prepared an ambush but being experts at our games we envisaged that they might lay ambush so we also planned a counter-ambush. Our preparation paid off, there was a gun duel when one of the kidnappers was hit, he was injured, and was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.”
And 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. “
Speaking on what the command is doing concerning the escaped kidnappers, Hundeyin disclosed that they are working on arresting them.
“As they were escaping, they dropped firearms, four live cartridges and we were able to recover three phones from that scene. Two of the phones belong to kidnappers. We have commenced a forensic analysis of the items. Also, the makeshift building they used as their den has been demolished, he added.
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