April 8, 2023

Our 10 days ordeals in kidnappers’ den —31-yr-old farm manager


File image of a bandits.

By Esther Onyegbula

A 31-year-old poultry farm Manager who was kidnapped alongside his colleague in their farm located in Isio community in Ikorodu area of Lagos has recounted their ordeals in kidnappers’ den.

According to the farm manager, the kidnappers, numbering six stormed their farm on March 26 at 4 pm, ordered them to lie down and asked the whereabouts of their boss but told them their boss was not around. They were then marched into the forest.
His account:

“They kidnapped the farm driver and I and took us in a local canoe into their den located close to a river. When they were asking about the room where our boss kept the money, I told them that I didn’t know anything about money, I just got employed in December 2022. While we were in the forest, they called our boss and demanded the sum of N20 million which was later reduced to N3m. When my boss told them that he didn’t have the money to pay for our ransom, the kidnappers kept beating us. They beat the farm driver severely because he didn’t have any money to give them. I transferred N55, 000 to their account so the beating I received was a bit mild compared to the driver. They threatened to cut my colleague’s hand. For the number of days we spent there, we were drinking garri. They had the food items already before we got there. The place where we were kept was like a makeshift house built with palm fronts. The kidnappers spoke Ijaw language fluently.

“All of a sudden on the 9th day, my boss called to tell the kidnappers that he had the N3m ransom so they could release us. The kidnappers then assigned two of them to go and collect the ransom. It was while they went to get the ransom that they were ambushed by the police. During the gun duel one of them was killed by the police while the other came back to the forest to notify the others. When we heard the gunshots the other kidnappers ran away and left us there. They said when it was dawn we should find our way back home. The forest was very large and there was nowhere to escape. That night it was at about 2am in the middle of the night so we decided to wait till morning so we could find our way.

“While we were waiting, the kidnapper that escaped met us in the forest. He was very angry that we sent police to ambush them but we pleaded with him that we had nothing to do with the police. He then asked us to call our boss and demanded the sum of 500k so they could give it to the family of the kidnapper who was killed. My boss said he should send account details which he did. We then walked through the swamp until we got to the road”.