By Damisi Ojo
AKURE – Members of a seven-man kidnapping squad that has been terrorising residents of Ajowa, Akunnu and Auga, in Akoko area of Ondo State, were at the weekend arrested through combined efforts of soldiers, Police and Department of State Services (DSS) at Ajowa, in Akoko North West Local Government Area.
They were apprehended after abducting a 45-year-old graduate teacher and Muslim cleric, Alhaji Jamiu Zakariyahu, at gunpoint last Wednesday night while coming from a mosque where he usually lead the congregation at Daja-Ajowa.
It was learnt that the suspected kidnappers dragged the victim from his motorcycle and immediately coverd his face with a mask.
They thereafter led him into the bush.
Narrating his ordeal, Zakariyahu said, “After dragging me into the bush, I met two other victims whose legs and hands were tied and blindfolded.
“They demanded a ransom of N10m which was later reduced to N5m.”
However, when the negotiating team told them (culprits) that I am a teacher whose family could not afford more than N250,000, they consequently agreed.
But miraculously in the night of second day in captivity, the victim said the rope already tied on his two hands suddenly cut off, while he untied that of his two legs when the kidnappers slept off.
He said, “I then, escaped in the midnight to an unknown destination in the dark forest where God directed me to meet a local hunter, who was searching for games.
“It was some soldiers with the help of some locals that later arrested one Wasiu Mohammed, son of a prominent chief in the town, by tracking the phone the bandits earlier seized from me.”
According to the victim, the arrested Wasiu is the leader of the squad, who paved way for the arrest of three others, while the remaining ones were still at large
It was jubilation galore at the residence of the escaped victim of abductors in Ajowa-Akoko.
The Police Area Commander in Akoko, Razak Rauf, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Oke-Agbe, Johnson Akintola, a Superintendent of Police (SP), met with all stakeholders on security matters in the community for adequate measure against the menace. (The Nation)