Monday, August 8, 2016

We received N15.1m ransom – Lagos Oba’s kidnap-ring member

Isaiah Ododem, one of the suspected nine kidnappers of the rescued Oniba of Iba, Oba Goriola Oseni, on Sunday in Lagos confessed to newsmen that they received a N15.1-million ransom in two batches.
Ododem said this while paraded before newsmen at a news conference addressed by Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State at Ikeja.

Ambode was represented by the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem.
Ododem said that they received an initial ransom of N12 million and a subsequent ransom of N3.1 million.

He, however, failed to mention who gave them the amount, where and when.

Ododem also told newsmen that he and others were into illegal bunkering before they kidnapped Oseni.

We had to stop the business because of the renewed onslaught of government’s security agencies against us, he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oba Oseni was kidnapped from his palace on July 16.

The kidnappers had asked the Oba’s family members to pay them a N500-million ransom after almost a week of their kidnapping him.

NAN also reports that in the process, two persons were shot dead by the kidnappers.

Earlier during the news conference, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State had told newsmen that the abduction of any traditional ruler in Yoruba land was a sacrilege.

It was a complete desecration of the cultural values of the Yoruba people and the perpetrators of such a sacrilege would not go unpunished, he said.

Ambode, represented by Mr Adeniji Kazeem, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said Oseni was rescued alive on Saturday.

He added that two of the nine kidnappers had also been arrested.

The governor said that the arrest was a clear warning to criminal elements that the Yoruba tradition was valued and cherished.

“We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the tradition is protected from violation by those who have desecrated our values,” he said.

He commended the police and other security agencies for their efforts in securing the release of the traditional ruler as well as arresting the kidnappers.

“I want to thank our security services for the ongoing `Operation Awatse’ designed to flush out militants and criminals who have been terrorising our riverine communities,” said Ambode.

He said that the operation was yielding desirable results and that it would continue until all criminal activities were completely stamped out.

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