Abducted Schoolchildren Freed After Ransom Payment and Grueling Ordeal

The parents and authorities of Apostolic Faith Group of Schools in Emure Ekiti have revealed the harrowing journey to secure the release of five abducted pupils and their teachers. The students were kidnapped last Monday and released on Sunday after a ransom of N15m was paid to the kidnappers.

The school proprietor, Gabriel Adesanya, disclosed that the driver, who was abducted along with the pupils and staff, was killed, and efforts to locate the body have been futile. The kidnappers not only demanded a ransom but also insisted on receiving fried rice, energy drinks, and cigarettes.

One of the parents, Adebisi Jegede, confirmed the ransom payment, stating, “A ransom was paid to the kidnappers, and the money raised was around the N15m they demanded.”

Relatives revealed that the kidnappers initially demanded N100m but reduced it to N15m after negotiations. The victims, comprising five pupils, three teachers, and the bus driver, were abducted on their way home from school.

The parents and families of the kidnapped individuals expressed relief upon reuniting with their loved ones, describing the journey to their release as torturous. A parent shared the challenges faced in reaching the kidnappers in an expansive forest, where N15m and various food items were handed over for the release of the abductees.

The freed victims disclosed that the driver was shot dead during the abduction. The kidnappers collected the ransom and food items, instructing the parents to leave promptly.

Despite the successful release, there is an ongoing search for the driver’s body, and authorities are committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice. Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, praised the swift response of political leader Bola Ahmed Tinubu and security agencies in rescuing the abducted individuals.

The governor expressed condolences for the death of the bus driver and assured that the government would pursue the criminals responsible for the kidnappings and the killing of two traditional rulers. The abductees are receiving medical attention at the State University Teaching Hospital in Ado Ekiti, with authorities emphasizing the need for proper management given the trauma endured by the victims.

The police have arrested one suspect linked to the killing of the two traditional rulers, and efforts are ongoing to apprehend others involved. The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Dare Ogundare, confirmed the arrest, noting that the suspect, Babusa Lede, had confessed to the crime. Authorities continue to investigate and pursue justice for the victims of these heinous crimes.

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