Jokers. The kidnappers of four residents of Lekki Gardens in Isheri, a border community between Lagos and Ogun states, weekend, demanded N1.2 billion ransom for their release.
Vanguard gathered that they made contacts with family members of the victims, suspected to be held hostage in the creeks, yesterday.
The victims, Mr. Kennedy Ucheagwu, Dr. Omololu, Bello and Mr. Esang, said to be landlords at Oshorun Heritage Estate, had gone for an aerobic section, Saturday, when eight masked gunmen in military camouflage intercepted them, shooting sporadically.
While others managed to escape, same could not be said for the victims, as they were whisked away
in boats through the waterways.
One of the relatives of the abducted men, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Vanguard yesterday: “I got a call very early yesterday, where the unknown caller informed that he was one of the kidnappers that took our people away on Saturday.
“He warned that in our interest and for the safety of the victims, we should not contact the police or try to play smart.
“He said anything of such would lead to the death of our people. He did not allow me to speak with my person, as he claimed that he was sleeping.
“He said that we should get N1.2 billion before they would be released. He also told me to meet with relatives of the other people. He called back about four hours later to find out if the money was ready.
“He also asked if I had my own N300 million for the release my relation. I begged him to accept N200,000, as that was the only money we could afford, except he wants us to go and start borrowing or sell our property.
“But the line went dead at that point. Where do we get that kind of money at this time? My worry is that my relative is hypertensive.”
Meanwhile, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of Zone 2 Command, Lagos, Abdulmajid Ali, has deployed a Tactical Rescue Team to rescue the victims.
Alli explained that the team comprised police operatives and ICT experts from the Lagos and Ogun states commands, as well as those from the Force headquarters, Abuja. The team, according to Ali, who condemned the act, had been directed to rescue the victims unhurt as well as arrest perpetrators of the act.
He assured the affected relatives and residents of the area of timely and successful rescue operation, adding that police had clues.
Ali also appealed to relations of the victims to support police with useful information that would enhance the rescue operation, adding that he was working with the Commissioners of Police in Lagos and Ogun states and other stakeholders to ensure the rescue of the victims and to sustain the fight against crimes within the commands.