By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
A 30-year-old man who risked his life to rescue a kidnap victim in Lagos, last week, is now regretting why he exhibited that rare courage. In fact, he has relocated to an unknown place with members of his family following threats from the enraged fleeing kidnappers who have sworn to take their pound of flesh.
The unemployed accountant (name withheld for security reasons) abandoned his house at in Igando area of Lagos after he boldly confronted a crowd that gathered to lynch a kidnap victim, Chief Donatus Dunu, owner of a multi-national pharmaceutical company at Ilupeju, Lagos.
Chief Dunu miraculously escaped from a bungalow where he was kept for over four months by his abductors who were demanding 1 million Euro (N500 M) ransom from members of his family. In spite of the fact that the family paid N150m to the abductors while detectives were frantically looking for their hideout, they still refused to release him but rather continued to threaten to kill him.
The victim was abducted on February 14, 2017 as he was driving home from his office at Ilupeju about 8pm and whisked to an unknown place.
The kidnappers later called to demand 1million Euro ransom or they would kill him with a stern warning that security agents should not be involved. However, investigations by the police later revealed that his abductors were members of a notorious gang of kidnappers that have been terrorising Festac, Amuwo-Odofin and environs for long and have succeeded in kidnapping successful business men.
Their suspected leader simply identified as Evans has been on the wanted list of security agencies for long and lately, a bounty of N30m was placed on his head by the police in Lagos. Luckily for their latest victim, Chief Dunu, just a day before he was ordered to be killed, he succeeded in escaping from the room where they kept him.
At about 2 am, he jumped into an adjoining compound and came out to hide in an obscure corner on the street as he could not run away because of a sprain in the ankle after jumping the high wall. The victim quickly rushed out when he saw some passersby around 5.30 am to explain his ordeal, pleading for help.
Unfortunately, the people he thought would save him turned around to accuse him of being a thief and descended on him with cudgels.
Luckily, while the battering and torture continued, a man who lived in the area emerged like ‘a lone voice in the wilderness’, pleading for caution.
He dared the crowd and continued to call for reason until they listened to him. Crime Guard was able to locate the man after combing Ikotun and environs for hours. He narrated his encounter insisting, however, that his real name and picture should not be used for his safety.
“That Friday morning at about 7:00 to 8:00 am, somewhere around Igando by Lanre bus stop, I heard people shouting thief, thief at Prophet Ashaye close. When I looked up, I saw some people carrying sticks and decided to go there.
When I got there I confronted the crowd made up of elders, youths and children and asked them; how could you say this fine, elderly man is a thief? The man was wearing only pants, and he said weakly; “Please sir! Help me, I am not a thief, I am a kidnap victim. Do me a favor; take me out of this place first. See the compound they kidnapped and kept me.
I jumped the fence to this compound and these people now pursued and called me a thief.” He said I should not just argue anything with anybody and pleaded I should take him to the nearest police station. I now said, sir can you give me any of your family members’ phone number?
How family was contacted
“He gave me his wife’s number but when I called, the number was not going through. He then gave me his brother’s number and when he picked my call, I asked him if he knew one Donatus Dunu. He said yes, they have been looking for that man, he was a kidnap victim.
Then I told him that I would take him to Igando police station and he should meet me there. Another neighbor, a woman then came out and offered to accompany me to the police station.
“I then called a motorcyclist and we went to Area M police station, Idimu. However, the man’s brother had already lodged a complaint at Ilupeju police station. From Area M, we went to Ilupeju police station and thereafter to Anti-kidnapping unit at Panti.
“My life is now in danger, I can’t sleep at home. Everyone in the neighborhood knew we rescued the kidnap victim and since the kidnappers had been living there for long, they will definitely have allies in the neighborhood. I am an accountant and a landlord in the area, I have been living there since 2010. Everybody knew me very well and that was why when I asked them to stop beating the man they stopped.