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Ekiti Kidnap: Death toll rises

By Gbenga Ariyibi
Following weekend raid by kidnappers in Ekiti State that left a monarch, the Attah of Ayede Ekiti, Oba Adeleye Orisagbemi and the Acting Provost, College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Dr Gabriel Olowoyo dead, more deaths have been recorderd due to the ugly incident.

The abductors had picked Oba Orisagbemi and Dr Olowoyo among others, at different locations in the state, parked all of them inside a waiting Hilux Toyota pick up van and drove towards Kabba/Lokoja axis of Kogi State before their vehicle had an accident while trying to evade a routine check mounted  by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, in Kogi State.

According to investigation by Vanguard, the latest discovery was the Secretary to the Programme Manager of the state-owned Agriculture Development Programme, ADP, Mrs Helen Oluwafemi, while the driver of the Toyota Hilux Pick-up van, Mr. Olawale Thomas was said to be receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.

The death of Mrs. Oluwafemi was yesterday confirmed by the ADP Public Relations Officer, Mr. Yomi Ogunrinde.

It was gathered from the driver who was one of the victims that the deceased was trailed by the kidnappers from her office in Ikole Ekiti to a popular restaurant in the town.

According to him: “On arrival at the restaurant, four men in suit came in and ordered that the secretary be attended to that they were waiting for her, and from there, they drove them towards Omuo-Ekiti. He said when they got to Kabba junction; the van stopped due to tracker installed on it and sensing danger, the driver said the kidnappers stopped all the cars already hijacked with their occupants which included that of the Attah of Ayede and the Provost of the College and packed all of them inside their Toyota Hiace bus with Ondo State Government number plate. He said when they were all inside the bus and with the kidnappers; they realized that the bus itself was hijacked from Ondo State, from where they were operating before their own”.

The PRO said the pick-up with National Programme for Food Security inscribed on both side doors of the pick-up had been traced to Lokoja where it was abandoned after the tracker operation.

One other victim who was  lucky to escape death from the accident told Vanguard on phone from his FMC, Lokoja hospital bed that, “when we were approaching the Federal Road Safety Commission, (FRSC) road block and wanted to call for help, they forced the bus driver to try and evade the check by the FRSC men on the road. We were happy on approaching the road block as we see it as a safe place to call for help. But when one of them overheard what we were discussing, he ordered the driver to speed up that there may be danger if he stop at the road block. This made the driver to over take other vehicles already on the line stopped by the men of the FRSC and in the process; he lost control and that was the last I know.”

The Public Relation Officer of the state College, Mr. Dada Adeyeye said the Council of the College would hold an emergency meeting today on the next line of action where decisions would be taking..

Also, sources at Ayede Ekiti said a  high powered delegation had been sent to Lokoja in Kogi State  capital on a fact finding mission and  to see the corpse of the Monarch and report back to the Atta-in-Council today for the next action.


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