Kidnapped CAC Members In Ondo Freed After Paying N50 million Ransom

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A week after being kidnapped, choir members of the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, in Oke Igan, Akure, Ondo state, were freed after paying a N50 million ransom.

A church leader told reporters that the kidnappers refused the N22 million that had been given to them and insisted on the N50 million that they wanted.

According to him “we had no choice than to look for the N50 m to give to them before our members were released. It was tough but we thank God, we were able to gather the amount.

“The joy there is that our members have regained their freedom and were not hurt except the beating they received when we were negotiating the ransom with the kidnappers”.

Recall that after eight of the 25 victims were
kidnapped escaped from the kidnappers’ den last Saturday, their captors demanded a N50 million ransom to free the remaining 17 victims.

As they traveled to a funeral service along the Ifon-Benin road, the church choir members were kidnapped.

They were dropped off at the same location where they were picked up last Friday night while traveling to Akure at around midnight, according to a church leader who confirmed the release of the victims.

He confirmed that the church and the families of the victims paid a sizable sum of money as ransom to get the prisoners released.

According to him “The negotiating team of the church returned with the remaining victims at 11:47 pm to the premises of the church in Akure. “They were subsequently taken to the hospital as they all looked weak and frail and we rushed them to the police clinic in Akure. They are responding to treatment”

Pastor Benjamin Akande, the regional superintendent of the church in the Odubanjo Region, who confirmed the release of the churchgoers, expressed gratitude to God for the victims’ release.

He claimed that the majority of the victims were worn out and appeared frail, and that they had been taken to a hospital for care.

Since the heinous incident took place, the church, according to Akande, has fervently prayed for the victims’ release.

Last night, the women gathered to sing praises to God for the release of the church members who had been kidnapped, and a thanksgiving prayer session was held on the church grounds.

The women were seen rolling on the ground after the shout of 21 Halleyah to express their gratitude that the victims were released by their captors unharmed.

The state House of Assembly’s leadership, which visited the church under the direction of Rt Hon.

Abayomi Akinruntan, Deputy Speaker, described the incident as unfortunate.

Akinruntan said that “there’s a law put in place for kidnapping and it’s time to go back to the drawing board to find a way to review the law and see how it can be strengthened to ensure that the lives and property of the people of Ondo State are protected”.

In order to ensure that the highest level of security is put in place along the road, the deputy speaker further stated that the House would consult with the security agencies. This will allow people traveling into and out of Ondo State to do so in safety.

Numerous calls placed to Funmi Odunlami, the state police command’s spokesperson, seeking confirmation went unanswered.

A senior police official, however, confirmed that the victims had been freed but insisted they were unaware that the ransom had been paid to the kidnappers.

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