By Dayo Johnson

Akure—THE former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae, yesterday appeared in court as a star witness to testify against his suspected kidnappers.

Chief Falae, while testifying at the High Court in Akure, identified some of the suspects brought before the court as his kidnappers.

He told the court that other members of the gang are still at large.

The elderstatesman was abducted on September 21, which incidentally was his 77th birthday, at his farm in Ilado, Akure.

In his testimony, the witness narrated how six of the seven suspects dragged him out of the office he built in the farm to the bush after one of them inflicted an injury on his arm with a machete.

Chief Olu Falae with Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo State
Chief Olu Falae with Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo State

According to him, the suspects dragged him in the forest for almost one hour and while in the deep forest asked for his wife’s phone number to discuss the ransom.

Chief Falae said: ”When one of them saw my wounds, he went to the bush to look for a leaf which he used to treat the wounds. That was how we started a journey that lasted for twelve hours.

“After 7pm, they got my wife on the phone and ordered her to go and look for N100 million as ransom before they would release me.

“One of them said my people were offering them N2 million, How could my people offer N2 million to Boko-Haram? That was when I asked them to allow me to speak to my wife and I told her to look around for money to meet their demand which I understand was N5 million at that time.”

The witness told the court that he was released on the fourth day of his abduction after payment of ransom by his family.

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, who is the prosecuting counsel, prayed the court for an adjournment of the case.

Jegede pleaded with the  court that the adjournment was to allow the prosecutors to gather all the witnesses.

He said that seven witnesses had been lined up to testify in the case.

The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice urged the court to give the case an accelerated hearing considering the interest of members of the public in the case.

The trial judge, Justice Rotimi Olumide, thereafter ordered that the suspects be remanded in Olokuta prison.

He therefore adjourned the case till December 15, for further hearing.

The suspected kidnappers are Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Muhammed, Idris Lawal, Abdulkadir Umar and Babawo Kato.

 

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