…Gunmen kidnap 2 Fulani in Oke-Ogun, demand N13m ransom
…As Abductors of Ekiti monarch demand N20m ransom
By Rotimi Ojomoyela, Adeola Badru & Shina Abubakar
THERE was tension in some parts of the South-West, yesterday, as some local hunters in Osun State foiled attempts by some suspected herdsmen to kidnap three residents of Koka village in Obokun Local Government Area of the state.
Three persons were, however, shot during the foiled kidnap attempt.
Similarly, gunmen suspected to be Fulani, invaded the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State and abducted two Fulani, Messrs Amadu Imoru and Kusore Shadani.
The abductors, however, demanded N13 million for the victims.
This came on a day when kidnappers of the Obadu of Ilemeso Ekiti, Oba David Oyewumi, contacted the family of the monarch and made a ransom demand of N20 million.
It was gathered that herdsmen invaded the Osun community, which is five minutes drive to the state capital, around 12am, wielding different types of weapons.
Findings revealed that the bandits started shooting sporadically which alerted residents, thereby forcing residents to mobilise hunters within the community.
A resident of the town, Kamaru Adebisi said they were woken up by the sound of gunshots but community leaders later mobilised local hunters to the scene.
Adebisi said: “They invaded the community and focused on a building. They could not access the house easily, so they started shooting at the gates. They shot their way into the building.
“While they were shooting, a neighbour went out to check what was happening, and on sighting him, the man was shot.
“They attempted to kidnap the man and two other residents, but the local hunters made it difficult for them to move out of the community, hence, they dumped their victims and ran into the forest.”
Confirming the incident, Osun police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola said the suspected herdsmen invaded the village around 11:45 pm, attempting to kidnap some residents but the local hunters prevented them from escaping with their victims.
Opalola said: “Some hoodlums, suspected to be herdsmen, invaded Koka community to kidnap some villagers, consequently, some villagers and local hunters engaged them in a gun duel and rescued the victims. However, the rescued victims sustained different degrees of gunshot injuries.”
Opalola stated that the policemen have been deployed to the village to assist villagers while effort is ongoing to arrest the perpetrators.
She said the rescued victims have been taken to hospital in Osogbo for treatment.
Vanguard gathered that while Imoru was kidnapped last Friday at Oba Ayete Village, Alhaji Shadani was abducted two days earlier, on Wednesday, April 14, at Iganna town, both in the Oke-Ogun area.
Imoru’s father was said to have reported at the Ayete police station, on April 17, explaining that the armed men invaded their village at about 7 pm on Friday, shooting sporadically, after which they whisked his son away.
He also said that the abductors called the line of one Musa Imoru, who is the victim’s brother, on Saturday, April 17, at about 8:20 a.m., and demanded N10 million as ransom.
Similarly, on Thursday, April 15, a Fulani man, Shaibu Bello, and one other had reported at Iwere Ile police station that on April 14, at about 11 am, and narrated how Alhaji Shadani, owner of the cows was blocked by four masked armed men and whisked away to an unknown destination.
The kidnappers were said to have called a brother of Alhaji Kusore, one Lati Kusore, who told Bello that the captors demanded N3 million as ransom.
Confirming the two separate incidents to Vanguard, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Adewale Osifeso, said police operatives were on the trail of the abductors, in a bid to rescue the victims and arrest the crime perpetrators.
Meanwhile, a family source, who confided in newsmen in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, said the gunmen contacted the monarch’s family on Saturday evening and made the financial demand.
Suspected gunmen, numbering six, last Thursday besieged the palace and abducted the monarch around 9 pm.
The abductors, who fired gunshots sporadically, were said to have scaled the fence to the palace and moved straight into the monarch’s apartment and whisked him away.
Ilemeso, in Oye Local government Area of Ekiti State, is a neighboring town to Isan Ekiti, the country home of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
The source said: “We have been contacted. They called us around 7.03 pm on Saturday and demanded that we pay a sum of N20 million for the king to be released.
“We are really worried by this demand. The family is taking further steps to ensure that Kabiyesi is released as soon as possible.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, said the police and other security agencies are making frantic efforts to rescue the monarch from captivity.
Abutu said: “We are taking all security measures to ensure that we rescue the Oba. We are not resting at all.
“We are working with other sister agencies in this regard and also working on intelligence gathering we have at our disposal.
“The police want to work more to prevent this kind of crime and we are relying on information from the members of the public because we work more on the information we found to be veracious.
“We appeal to members of the public to help us with information. Let them report any strange face or suspected person to the police. We assure you that the police will protect the identities of such informants.”
Source: Nigerian Newspapers Online