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Abuja, 19 states battle kidnap-for-ransom

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Abuja, 19 states battle kidnap-for-ransom

Beyond Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which has recorded several cases of kidnapping recently, there is heightened fear in no fewer than 19 states of the federation following a spike in the activities of kidnappers and their kingpins.

So worrisome is the situation that both residents and travellers passing through affected states are worried about their safety.

Loss of lives and payment of ransom are now more regular than ever.

Families and friends of kidnapped victims are left traumatised over the fate of their loved ones and also the agony of raising funds for ransom payments.

For the victims, who manage to make it alive, the experience is like dying and coming back to life.

Raising money and crowd-funding through WhatsApp groups for ransom has become a common occurrence in the country.

Sometimes, campaigns for money are done on social media platforms like X, formerly Twitter, and Facebook as witnessed recently in the case of Abuja-based Nabeeha Al-Kadriya, a 400-level biological science student, who was killed by kidnappers.

Those whose families cannot source for ransom are left to die in the hands of terrorists, who murder their victims even after collecting money, sometimes.

Out of every 10 Nigerian, it is either five know someone who had been kidnapped or must have met somebody who knows a kidnap victim.

It is now an epidemic that threatens a population of over 200 million people.
Even babies are not spared in this daily madness.

Eight days ago, a baby and her mother were abducted in Kaduna by bandits, who killed her dad, a school principal, for putting up resistance.

READ ALSO: Bandits kill 3 out of 10 victims kidnapped from Abuja estate, increase ransom to N700 million

N1.55 trillion
This is despite huge budgetary allocation to defence in recent years.
Last year, the budgeted expenditure for defence was N1.55 trillion, which was among the highest sectorally.

In the 2024 budget, defence and security got 3.25 trillion, representing 12 per cent of the N27 trillion budget.

Though Nigeria has been battling kidnapping for more than a decade, the situation is now more troubling than ever as kidnappers have become more daring.

Until recently, most incidents took place on the highways and farms. Now, perpetrators are so emboldened to the extent of freely attacking residential areas.

Findings by Sunday Vanguard show that about N200 million have been paid as ransom in some states since January this year.

In September 2023, SBM Intelligence reported that between July 2022 and June 2023, more than N300 million’ ransom was paid across the country.

The security Intelligence gathering firm stated that the figure represented six per cent of the N5 billion kidnappers demanded at the time.

Similarly, over N1 billion’ ransom has been demanded in some high-profile cases between December 2023 and now.

For example, those who abducted Nabeeha, her dad and five sisters had demanded N100 million per person, totaling N700 million.

Last week, the abductors of Zamfara-based Alhaji Said Abdulkadir and his three daughters demanded N100 million. They were kidnapped at their residence in Damba Quarters, Gusau.

Apart from these cases, Sunday Vanguard can authoritatively state that many, which are often unreported, abound across the country.

Meanwhile, findings across the states, including FCT, show that residents and even travelers on highways live in fear following the daring and unrestrained dimension kidnapping has assumed. Some states found to be experiencing a spike in some parts include Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Benue, Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra, Kogi, Abia, Kwara, Ondo, Katsina, Niger, Edo, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Osun and Ekiti

BENUE: Spread beyond Sankera axis

Incidents of kidnappings in Benue State have taken a worrisome dimension.
The cases are no more restricted to the volatile Sankera axis of the state made up of Katsina-Ala, Logo and Ukum Local Government Areas, LGAs; it has spread to Makurdi-Naka-Otukpo Road as well as the Otukpo-Ugbokolo-Otukpa-Orokam Road.

For the people of Sankera, kidnapping and other violent crimes have been a way of life right from the days of the dreaded late militia leader, Terwase Agwaza, also known as Gana.

After his demise, several armed gangs, including breakaway factions, sprang up and have continued to make life a living hell for the people whose communities are intermittently attacked by these gangs and rival groups of armed men who kill, injure and also abduct their victims including high profile individuals.

One of these gangs was recently responsible for the kidnap of the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Matthew Abo, who was abducted on September 24, 2023, by gunmen who invaded his house in Zaki-Biam and whisked him away in the presence of his family members.

He eventually regained his freedom after ransom was paid for his release.

Death despite ransom paid
In that same axis, an elder statesman and pioneer Chairman of Ukum LGA, 81-year-old Pa Raymond Erukaa, was also abducted on September 23, 2023.

The octogenarian died in the captivity of his abductors after ransom was paid for his release.

His demise was confirmed by his eldest son, Mr. Charles Erukaa, a former news anchor with Channels Television, who stated that the family got wind of his death on October 27, 2023.

He explained that the kidnappers initially demanded N12 million in their first contact with the family and later reduced it to N10 million. And further brought it down to N5 million.

As if that was not bad enough, just a few days back, the Chairman and Chief Security Officer of Ukum LGA, Rev. Gideon Haanongon, alongside his Personal Assistant, driver and police orderly were abducted on January 13, 2024, at Anyagba, Tongov, along the Katsina-Ala-Zaki Biam road in Katsina-Ala LGA.

He was held captive after the armed men demanded a ransom of N50 million for his release.

And just before the abduction of the Chairman and his team, a Toyota wagon car, which was reported to have left Ugba for Anyiin in Logo LGA at about 6am with seven passengers, was midway into the journey, near Mbavuu community, waylaid by armed men who diverted the car and its occupants into a bush heading towards Afia.

To date, no one has been able to trace the whereabouts of the vehicle and the occupants among whom was a former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Organising Secretary, Chief Job Tiza.

These are just a few of the recent reported incidents in that axis of the state.

Another axis that is notorious for kidnapping is the Makurdi-Naka-Otukpo road, where armed herders are reported to operate with impunity.

They abduct travellers on that road and kill without regard for the sanctity of life.

On that axis, it has become almost a daily occurrence.

One of the high profile victims on that stretch was then-Chairman of Okpokwu LGA, Mrs. Amina Audu, who was abducted alongside her driver and whisked into the forest.

She has since regained her freedom.

Ordeal
Narrating her ordeal, Mrs. Audu disclosed that she was released after paying an undisclosed amount as ransom.

On her experience while in captivity, the former captive said they were fed with pawpaw and garri.

“Do you know how harrowing it is to be with kidnappers? I cannot even say how much we suffered. While with them (kidnappers), we noticed that they didn’t have food in the bush, so they only fed us with pawpaw and garri to drink,” she said.

On that same Makurdi-Naka Road, an engineer, Martha Kwaghdoo Anderson, was brutally killed by armed men on December 28, 2023, while trying to flee from them.
Her case was one of the many recorded on that axis.

Even the Makurdi-Aliade road, on several occasions, recorded cases of kidnappings, a situation which compelled commercial vehicle drivers to stop driving from Aliade to Makurdi or Makurdi to Aliade after 8pm.

Ugbokolo-Otukpa-Orokam Road is another hotbed for kidnappers who have been abducting road users including priests.

Only recently, three fully loaded 15-seater buses were abducted in Orokam aside from the several cases that were reported on that stretch of the road.

READ ALSO: Abducted Ondo student narrates horrifying ordeal in kidnappers’ den

ABIA: DVC, four kids kidnapped
There has been a decline in the rate of kidnapping in Abia State in the last six months.

Before Governor Alex Otti came on board on May 29, 2023, kidnap-for-ransom was almost a daily occurrence in parts of the state, especially in Umunneochi and Isuikwuato areas.

The perpetrators had equally fleeced families of their victims as millions of naira were demanded and collected as ransom.

Piqued by the situation, Otti, shortly after taking power, declared total war on the menace.

He launched Operation Crush with specific instruction to security agents involved in the operation to go after the kidnappers.

The outfit paid off as security operatives took the battle to the camp of the criminals.

First, shanties at the Regional Cattle Market, Lokpanta, alleged to be providing harbour for criminals were demolished.

The move met resistance but the state government insisted on fencing the market as a necessary security measure.

Otti made a shocking revelation that over 50 decomposing headless bodies were discovered around the area, insisting that the entire vicinity must be placed under surveillance for the good of all.

Today, the fencing project has commenced and kidnapping around the entire Umunneochi axis has drastically reduced.

There has been no reported case of kidnapping around the area since the yuletide unlike the situation about four months ago.

However, there are pockets of kidnapping around Umuahia, the state capital, and parts of Aba metropolis.

Just last week, a tunnel where kidnappers allegedly kept their victims around Lokpanta, was discovered by security operatives.

Shortly before last Christmas, four kids belonging to the same parents were stolen by a tricycle operator conveying them to school.

Despite efforts by security operatives, these children are yet to be recovered.

Similarly, a new female tenant escaped with four children belonging to her neighbours at Ubakala Street, Umuahia.

One of the suspects was later arrested and two of the victims recovered.
Efforts are still on to arrest other members of the syndicate and rescue the remaining victims.

When contacted for statistics of kidnap incidents in the state during the period under review, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Moureen Chinaka, begged for time to gather the figures.

On the total amount paid as ransom, the PPRO said the incidents in their records were the ones rescued by police, adding that no ransom payment was involved.

In a related development, the management of Abia State University Uturu, ABSU, has“confirmed the kidnap of its Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Godwin Emezue.“Registrar of the institution, Dr Acho Elendu, who confirmed it to Sunday Vanguard, described the incident as unfortunate.“He said information was still sketchy about the incident, adding that the attack took place around his village.“Meanwhile, it was gathered that the gunmen abducted the DVC at a filling station around Umuekwule, Amachara, in Umuahia South Local Government Area.“He was said to be with his wife when the incident occurred.

“According to an eyewitness account, Emezue was whisked away by no fewer than three men, who dragged him into a Lexus SUV and collected his wife’s ATM card.

“The wife was quoted as saying the abductors sped off and raced towards the Imo-Abia border towards Malaysian market.“Efforts to contact the police for confirmation were not successful as the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Moureen Chinaka, did not pick calls put across to her.“The Commissioner of Police Kenechukwu Onwuemelie did not also not pick calls put across to him.

READ ALSO: Abia man fakes own kidnap, demands N3 million ransom from relatives

KADUNA: Still a red spot
After a long respite, suddenly, terror gangs came out of their dens and began to kill, maim and abduct innocent citizens in Kaduna State.

It Is a sad development at a time many thought normalcy was gradually returning to a state that had suffered huge losses to the men of the underworld.

Abduction-for-ransom is now a major threat to the state, especially in Southern Kaduna area where terrorists abduct people from their homes.

Birnin Gwari continues to be a hot spot as bandits abduct, maim and kill people despite the efforts of security agencies.

Recently, many people were killed by bandits in three communities in Kauru LGA of Kaduna State while no fewer than 38 were abducted.

The affected communities include Unguwan Sako, Kunkurai and Dokan Kaji communities in Dawaki Ward.

A local politician, who pleaded anonymity, said the bandits operated for about six hours, killing 17 people.

However, the police dismissed the claim of casualties.

This month, about 85 persons, both travellers and residents, were said to have been abducted by terrorists at Katari, along Kaduna – Abuja Highway.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Air Force, NAF, in collaboration with other security agencies, has stepped up its offensives against terrorists in the state.

READ ALSO: Terrorists kidnap 30 travellers on Abuja-Kaduna highway

IMO: Ehime Mbano, Ahiazu, Ezinihitte, Aboh, others
Kidnapping remains a major issue in Imo, even though a little decline in cases has been witnessed recently.

In the last six months, some prominent cases have occurred.

In August 2023, Imo State Police Command reportedly killed two suspected kidnappers and rescued their victim along Umuezorokam-Avu in Owerri West LGA.

In September 2023, Major General RC Duru, retd, was kidnapped around Orji axis in Owerri North Council Area of Imo State.

In November 2023, in Otulu community, Ezinihitte Mbaise Council Area, the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Joe- Benz Ochulor, was kidnapped and murdered.

Also in the same month, Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ward Chairman for Ife/Akpodim/Chokoneze Ward, Ezinihitte Mbaise Council Area, Smith Anyanwu, was kidnapped and murdered.

In December 2023, unidentified gunmen kidnapped the priest in charge of St. Michael’s Catholic Church Parish in Umuekebi, Osuoweerre autonomous community in Isiala Mbano Council Area, Reverend Father Kingsley Eze, popularly known as Father Ichie.

This year, ex-Chairman of Imo State Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Samuel Ohiri, was kidnapped at his hometown Orodo in Mbaitoli Council Area.

He was said to have spent 13 days in the kidnappers’ den.

In Ahiazu and Isiala Mbano Council Area, relatives of a kidnap victim pleaded anonymity, declining to state how much was paid as ransom for the release of their loved one.

One of them told Sunday Vanguard, “If you mention the amount, you are advertising yourself for other kidnappers to come and kidnap you for more ransom. We keep it to ourselves. “Sometimes, security agencies are aware. They use it to further their intelligence gathering about kidnap syndicates.”

Another person, who didn’t want his name in print, added: “You cannot pay anything less than N5 million to these boys.

“However, it depends on your status. A brother who returned from Canada was kidnapped. It happened two years ago. He said they collected N12 million as ransom.

“These kidnappers operate within the Ehime Mbano and the three Mbaise council areas of Ahiazu, Ezinihitte and Aboh. “They also move towards the Ngor Okpala axis of the state and possibly camp in those thick forests within the areas.”

Other areas identified include Umuaka /Njaba along Owerri-Orlu Road and link road between Owerri/Aba Road and Owerri Airport.

Okwelle axis in Onuimo Council Area, Arondizuogu-Okigwe Road and the road from Ogbaku in Mbaitoli Council Area linking to Ohaji/Egbema LGA are also notorious for kidnapping. Also, there have been reports of kidnapping along Avu/Obosima/Adapalm Road in Ohaji/Egbema Council Area of Imo State.

Following reports of insecurity in these areas, military checkpoints have been situated in affected spots.

READ ALSO: Gunmen kidnap Major-General in Imo

EBONYI: Border communities
Kidnapping has become a major threat to Ebonyi residents, especially those living around border areas. State and federal highways are not also spared.

Sometime in August 2023, unidentified gunmen at about 5:10 pm kidnapped five persons along the ever-busy Mile 2 axis of the Ishiagu/Okigwe Expressway.
The victims were said to be returning home from Enugu Airport in an Airport Taxi (Sienna bus) before they were kidnapped at Mile 2 area, Ishiagu, Ivo LGA.

Some kidnapping incidents in the state have been attributed to herdsmen who attack and abduct people from their farms and highways.

In a telephone interview, a source said the police do not usually get concrete information on ransom payment.

He said: “We don’t usually get information as to the amount paid for ransom. The one that happened in Afikpo was during the New Year, I think.

“We have got breakthroughs on that. But we don’t want to go to the press yet. One woman, who was resisting kidnap, was pushed out of a car. She later died.

“Police have arrested suspects in that case but we are looking for the prime suspects. Comparatively, the rate of kidnapping is low in Ebonyi State. The only one in my mind is the one that happened in Afikpo North. It happened on New Year’s Day.

“One man, Michael Eziolor, was kidnapped but he has been rescued. I will talk to my CP for more details. We are going after the suspects. This is about the only case since I joined the Command in October 2023.

“On the kidnapping that happened on New Year’s Day, the guy was coming to greet his people and the people swooped on him.”

EDO: Edo North axis
Until November last year, reports of kidnapping in Akoko-Edo LGA of Edo State, which shares boundaries with Kogi and Ondo states, were on a daily basis, with some resulting in death of innocent citizens, including security personnel.

Several groups, associations and individuals had, at various times, provided support to the local vigilante group in the area.
Along Auchi-Igarra – Ibillo Road, especially at the collapsed Sasaro axis, kidnappers terrorise people daily.

It Is the same story along the Lampese-Ososo Road that has over five communities between it and several forests linking the area to Kogi State and the Ikakumu-Ayanran-Ikiran-Oke axis that connects the LGA to Ondo State.

There was massive mobilisation of men and resources during the yuletide, leading to respite until Sunday, January 20, when six people were kidnapped along the Ogori-Magogo axis of Kogi and Edo states.

The kidnappers were said to have been dressed in military uniforms and armed with sophisticated weapons.

Also, investigation between September and October 2023, shows that over 12 kidnapping cases were recorded.

For example, the Special Adviser on Security to the Ogori-Magogo LGA Chairman in neighbouring Kogi State was killed between Epe and Makeke Road in Akoko-Edo.

Towards the end of October, about seven women were kidnapped along Lampese-Ososo Road.

They were said to have spent 15 days with the kidnappers after which N3. 5 million’ ransom was paid.
On November 10, a lady from Lampese and an Okada rider who were going to Ososo were kidnapped.

They were in the custody of the kidnappers for over five days before ransom of over N2 million was allegedly paid.

That same period between Epe and Makeke, a young man from Ososo, who was going to Ososo, was attacked and about two people kidnapped while three other persons were injured.

A member of the state’s security outfit, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Before the intervention, kidnapping on Lampese – Ososo Road was on a daily basis.

Ikakumu-Ayanran-Ikiran-Oke axis along our boundary with Ondo State was also a hot spot. We now have three military points from Ekor junction to Etiose Bridge.”

Last year, travellers coming from Benue State to a wedding in Ondo and another vehicle going to Osu in Akoko-Edo for a burial were intercepted and over 40 people were kidnapped. Close to N30m ransom was said to have been paid before their release.

Notwithstanding, Governor Godwin Obaseki has substantially curtailed the activities of kidnappers in Edo South, Edo Central and parts of Edo North with the setting up of Edo Security Network.

ANAMBRA: Black spots
Kidnapping appears to be one business that has refused to die in Anambra State despite the efforts of security operatives to end it.

In the past six months, over 100 people have reportedly been kidnapped in various parts of the state, although many of them were rescued by the police.

Humongous amounts of money are reportedly usually paid as ransom by family members of the kidnapped victims, even though nobody is prepared to reveal how much was paid to have their relations freed.

Although kidnapping takes place in many towns, the known black spots in the state include but not limited to Amichi – Utuh- Ukpor – Orsumoghu – Azia- Lilu- Isekke – Uli – Okija axis, as well as Oko- Ufuma- Uga – Umunze area.

Other places are Nnobi – Ojoto – Igboukwu – Ogbunike – Umunya – Neni- Nimo – Abatete – Ogidi – Nkwele Ezunaka and 33 areas of Onitsha.

Some of the high profile kidnap incidents include the abduction of four children of the same parents at Enugwu Agidi in Njikoka LGA on December 15 last year from their home by suspected herdsmen.

The good thing, however, is that the police rescued them unhurt within 24 hours of the incident.

Narrating the incident, the mother of the children said they were watching television at about 10 pm when their power supply suddenly went off, adding that as her husband went out to find out what happened, he observed three gunmen suspected to be herdsmen and, on sighting them, she and her husband fled for their lives.

She said that by the time they summoned courage to return to the house, their four children who were already asleep had been abducted by the gunmen.
She immediately informed the police at Abagana. When the Commissioner of Police, Aderemi Adeoye, received the information through the police hotline, he ordered immediate mobilisation personnel and vigilante to go after the kidnappers to rescue the children.

The four children were rescued on December 16, 2023.

The police discovered another kidnap gang at Nnewi Ichi in Nnewi North LGA and rescued a victim.

On September 14, 2023, Anambra State Police Command also rescued a kidnap victim whose name was given as Abuchi from Orumba South LGA of the state.

In the same month, police operatives on anti-crime patrol at Obosi, Idemili North LGA were stopped by residents who informed them about a kidnap incident.

Last year, police operatives attached to the Rapid Response Squad, Awkuzu, acting on credible information, stormed the compound of one Onyeka Aduba at Umuohi Village, Okija and rescued three abducted citizens chained to building pillars by their abductors.

Two persons, 31-year-old Okika Chukwujekwu and 55- year-old Sylvester Ikwuanusi, were arrested during the raid.

KWARA: Southern senatorial district as flashpoint
Currently, Kwara South Senatorial District is the hot bed of insecurity, especially kidnapping for ransom in Kwara State.

Notably, Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Asa LGAs are areas where hoodlums ply their nefarious trade. Recently, the wife of a former Military Administrator in Bauchi and Osun states, Col Theophilus Bamigboye, Chief Jumoke Bamigboye, was kidnapped.

Between August 2023 and January 2024, no fewer than 26 persons were kidnapped, Sunday Vanguard gathered.

NIGER: Sarkin Pawa axis
In Niger State, many lives, mostly women and children, have been lost to several incidents of kidnapping.
Up until now, many who are predominantly farmers have been unable to return to farming owing to the activities of bandits.

In some LGAs, farmers still pay tax to kidnappers to avoid being abducted.
The LGAs mostly affected are Shiroro, Rafi, Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora, Rijau, Wushishi, Paikoro, Munya, Wushishi, Lapai and Agaie.

Niger has the longest federal roads in the country, spanning over 1,477 kilometers spread across 15 of the 25 local government areas of the state.

Out of this, 1,115 kilometres, representing 80 per cent, are Trunk A roads but, sadly, all are in a deplorable situation, thereby giving room for bandits to operate freely on the roads due to the snail speed of vehicles.

Similarly, the state is bordered by Kaduna, Zamfara and Nassarawa, places known for incessant banditry.

According to data obtained from Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA, 152 farmers were killed while 355 others kidnapped in different attacks on various communities in Mariga, Rijau, Wushishi, Paikoro, Rafi, Shiroro, Mafama, Munya and Mashegu between April and September 2023.

It was also gathered that 140 communities were attacked with 36,071 farmers displaced within the same period under review.

At the moment, one major identified hot spot for bandits is Sarkin Pawa- Kaduna Road.

Meanwhile, a Joint Security Task Force established by government has succeeded in taming the activities of terrorists to some certain extent in Shiroro, Rafi, Wushishi, Paikoro, Magama, Rijau, Kontagora and Mashegu.

Two weeks ago, some bandits were said to have stormed Dangunu community in Munya local government area, killing a father of 16 identified as Ahmadu Adamu and abducting 21 villagers.

This came about six weeks after relative peace was recorded in the area following the establishment of the Joint Security Task Force stationed at Mangoro village.

Sunday Vanguard learnt that the closeness of Sarkin Pawa axis to Kaduna is one of the reasons the menace is ongoing in the area. However, security agents, in the past few weeks, have sustained an onslaught against terrorists in the area.

ONDO: Kidnappers on the prowl
In Ondo State, there is a resurgence of kidnapping.
Residents and travellers are disturbed.

Only last Thursday, a couple travelling along the Akure/Ikere Highway was abducted while another traveller in another vehicle escaped into the bush.

They were allegedly stopped by gunmen who shot sporadically in the air to scare other road users.

Days before the incident, a suspected kidnapper, who disguised as a scavenger, was arrested in Akure, Ondo State capital, over the kidnap of an eight-year-old girl.

The suspect abducted the victim after reportedly hitting her with a charm and thereafter put her in a sack.

But her cry attracted her grandmother who raised the alarm and the suspect was arrested.

Meanwhile, Sunday Vanguard learnt that police detectives from the anti-kidnapping section of the State Command, local hunters and personnel of the state security outfit codenamed, Amotekun, deployed to smoke out abductors and rescue victims in some parts of Ondo failed.

The victims, who spent five days in captivity, were released after their families allegedly coughed out millions of Naira as ransom.

When contacted, Ondo State Commander of Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, told Sunday Vanguard that 19 suspected kidnappers were arrested by the security outfit.

EKITI: Farmers, labourers hard hit
In Ekiti State, kidnapping is a major problem.

Most of the victims are farmers, labourers and travellers.

Last week, gunmen abducted an unspecified number of passengers travelling on a failed portion of the road between Ondo and Ekiti states.

The gunmen laid siege to the road linking Iju in Ondo and Ikere in Ekiti and intercepted the vehicles conveying the victims.

KATSINA: Scores taken captives
Katsina State remains a hotbed. In the last six months, scores have been abducted from several communities across the state.

In December, the state Police Command said 263 kidnapped victims were rescued.

Earlier in November, no fewer than 14 people were killed by gunmen suspected to be terrorists/kidnappers while 20 were kidnapped during the Maulud celebration at Rugan Kusa community in Musawa LGA of Katsina State.

Five female students of a university in the state were kidnapped in October.
Katsina police spokesperson, Abubakar Sadiq, in a statement, said the incident occurred at the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma.

On January 22, 30 persons were said to have been kidnapped after suspected bandits attacked Tashar Na-Gulle village in Batsari LGA of Katsina State.
Terrorists also abducted 24 residents, mostly women and children, in Gangara, a community in Jibia LGA of Katsina State, on January 24.

Five residents were also killed during the incident while seven others got wounded.

Batsari area of the state has seen a resurgence of abductions in recent weeks.

OYO: PDP Chairman’s abductors demand N200m ransom.

In Oyo State, kidnapping has returned to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway after a brief respite.“Just last Friday, suspected kidnappers abducted the Chairman of Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Philip Aivoji, and some party chieftains.

“The incident, which happened in Ogere area of the highway took place around 6 p.m.“They were said to be returning to Lagos from a PDP South West zonal meeting held in Ibadan.“Sunday Vanguard learnt the kidnappers contacted the family a few hours after the attack, demanding N200 million ransom. He is still in captivity at press time.“Less than 48 hours after the abduction, Chairman of Oyo State Tipper, Lorry And Quarry Park Management System, Alhaji Akeem Akintola, popularly known as Kuso, was taken by unknown gunmen.

“The abduction occurred in the early hours of Saturday around Ajiboye area, Omi Apata, Ibadan.“According to a source, the attackers stormed the residence of the victim and took him to an unknown destination.“Multiple sources have confirmed the incident, including a family member who pleaded anonymity.“”The gunmen arrived earlier this morning and attacked him without any resistance before whisking him away,’’ a source added.“Meanwhile, the national leadership of the party has demanded the immediate release of Aivoji.“National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement, expressed concerns about Aivoji’s safety.

“He said: “Our party condemns the“distressing spate of kidnap for ransom, mindless killings, marauding of“communities and other acts of terrorism across the country under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s watch and calls for urgent action to ensure the release of all those held in kidnappers’ dens in various parts of the country.’’

RIVERS: Security personnel
Rivers State Police Command recently detained about four of its personnel for allegedly kidnapping a worker in a Port Harcourt hotel and demanding N1 million as ransom.

Penultimate Sunday, it was gathered that some policemen on patrol had intercepted one Darlington Bieh, who hails from Taabaa in Khana Local Government Area of the state and took him to an unknown destination.

It was learned that the policemen had apprehended their victim around 8 pm on his way to work and searched his bags, pockets including his phone, but did not find anything incriminating but kept him until 1am.

The source said the policemen had told the victim to call his family to send N1 million for his bail, threatening to kill him and throw his corpse into Choba River should his family fail.
However, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Disu Olatunji, told newsmen that some officers have been arrested.

OSUN: 8 kidnapped, N16million ransom paid
In Osun State, eight persons were kidnapped during the period under review.

They include a nurse in Bode-Osi in Ola-Oluwa LGA, a housewife in Sekona, Ede-North LGA and six persons in Oyan, Odo-Otin LGAs.

Meanwhile, a total sum of N16 million was reportedly paid as ransom within the same period.

The husband of the nurse, identified as Sadiat Ogunyimika, was killed on the spot where she was kidnapped.

Some farmers were kidnapped in Ile-Ogbo LGA. The kidnappers first received ransom and detained those who took the money to their den.

Another ransom was later collected for the release of the detained relatives.
Meanwhile, security operatives in the state have intensified efforts to curb the menace.

The spokesperson for Osun Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, said the command is not relenting in its efforts at flushing kidnappers out of the state.

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