Kidnappers of a commercial bus driver, Akinde Felix, have made a demand of N5 million as ransom to secure his release.
Brief overview of the incident
Addressing the press on the issue, Tayo Olorunmaye, Chairman of the Ado Ekiti Park in Akure, disclosed that Felix took off from Ado Ekiti at about 4:30am on Tuesday to go book a bus heading to Onitsha in Akure, and was nabbed by the kidnappers along the road at about 5am.
Adedeji Adeyemi, owner of the Toyota car which the victim was driving before his abduction said that he was alone in the car at the time of the abduction. He further disclosed that he was contacted by the kidnappers who demanded N5 million ransom to be paid to them in exchange for the driver’s safe release. He further stated that the kidnappers agreed to collect N2 million after much pleading.
There have been different narratives about the incident, with some sources claiming that the driver had some passengers with him in the vehicle. According to some sources, the driver was driving along with passengers when the kidnappers blocked the road and abducted him and the passengers.
Individuals at the Ado Ekiti Park said they noticed a bus with open doors right in the middle of the highway. When they checked the bus, they realized that it was empty, and raised alarm. A source who confirmed that the driver was abducted could not categorically state the number of passengers in the bus at the time of abduction.
“The hoodlums took advantage of the bad spot to carry out their operation. The whereabouts of the occupants of the vehicle remain unknown, but we have reported to the security operatives,” he said.
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Announcements from Ondo Police Force
Reacting to the incident, the Ondo State Police Command released an official statement to clear the air:
“The Ondo State Police Command wishes to allay the fear of the general public as a result of the news making the rounds on the Social media that an eighteen-seater bus conveying some passengers from Ikere to Akure was blocked and ten passengers kidnapped.
“Some Online bloggers even referred to the victims as youth corps members.
“We wish to state that the story was exaggerated and good enough, the State Coordinator of NYSC in Ondo State has issued a statement denying that any corps member was involved.
“To set the record straight, a space bus Toyota Previa vehicle was driven by One Akinde Felix from Ikere Ekitienroute Akure yesterday 25/6/2019, with only the driver inside.
“At about 4am on a spot Close to the NYSC camp at ltaogbolu, the vehicle was blocked by suspected hoodlums while the driver who was the only occupant was whisked away. The Command has since begun investigation and intensifying efforts to not only rescue the victim but to also arrest the perpetrators."
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Authorities of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) in the state have also debunked reports that the passengers were corps members. To this end, they put out a statement to assure the general public of the safety of corps members in the state.
“The management through the established procedure can authoritatively tell the general public especially the parents and guardians not to panic as all corps members serving in all the local governments in the state or those who are currently in camp at Ikare-Akoko are safe, sound and healthy.
The Management of NYSC has put in place necessary machinery and effective measure to safeguard at all times the lives and properties of members of the service corps.”