Ijebu Ode: 25 Abducted In 4 Yrs - Residents... As Kidnappers Lay Siege On Ancient Town - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Ijebu Ode: 25 Abducted In 4 Yrs - Residents... As Kidnappers Lay Siege On Ancient Town

•••Business Owners Reduce Working Hours

•••Out Tactical Team, Others On Ground To Secure Lives, Property - Ogun Police Command Assures

               •Ogun CP

The Daily Crucible | Thursday, April 14, 2022

By Qudus Adeaga, Ijebu - Ode

Fear - striken residents of Ijebu Ode have raised the alarm over what they reckoned as increasing threats to their lives, peace  and businesses by suspected kidnappers, claiming that these criminals have lay siege on the ancient town in Ogun State.

The residents who now go about their daily needs with so much suspicion and fear, as they could hardly sleep with their two eyes closed because of the alleged "brazen activities" of suspected kidnappers, claimed that no fewer than 25 people were kidnapped at different times and locations in Ijebu Ode in the last four years.

A middle-age man who spoke on this pressing issue on condition of anonymity, narrated that hardly will a month pass-by without cases of kidnap been reported.

The source added that cases of kidnap for ransom is now the most discussed issue at the moment in Ijebuland. 

The residents said business owners and their family members appeared to be the primary targets, describing it as a scary development in the last few years.

They are also concerned that the suspected kidnappers are getting away with their activities in Ijebuland.

A resident noted that without sounding political, the alarming rate of kidnapping and the attendant effects on the psyche of residents may soon overshadow the achievements of governor Dapo Abiodun  in the ancient town if left unaddressed as kidnappers seemed to have found the area as a new haven.

They claimed over 25 people with different backgrounds have been kidnapped so far in Ijebu-Ode, with huge sums of money running to several millions of naira paid as ransom to the kidnappers.

Those familiar with kidnapping incidents in the town said "there are numerous undocumented and unknown cases."

It was said that ransoms were paid before some of the victims were released by their abductors. 

Although the police and the state government remained silent - neither confirming nor denying payment of ransom by victims to the abductors.

But findings revealed that families, friends and associates of the kidnapped victims paid a certain amount of money as ransom to secure the release of their loved ones.

Findings also revealed that the Ijebu axis in Ogun East has witnessed what appears to be high profile kidnapping in recent times.

According to them, some of the kidnapped victims in Ijebu Ode in the last few years are, (1)Alhaji Araba Aranse, a building materials merchant; (2)Tunde Cool Penny, another building material merchant; (3)Dr Adegoke, owner of POGIL school of health technology; (4)Mrs Tokunbo Oshin, wife of former Deputy Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly;(5) Mr Segun Oyebolu, CEO Citi Hotels Ijebu Ode; (6)Mrs Olaitan Daodu, owner of Dallat Stores Ijebu Ode; (7)Mrs Adegoke, wife of Dr Adegoke, founder of Pogil School of Health Technology and Mrs (8)Bolanle Latifat Abimbola, A senior lecturer at Tai Solarin University of Education Ijebu Ode.
It was gathered that(9) Otunba Yomi Smith, Owner of Rolaks Hotels, was kidnapped, ransom collected and never found till date.

Other victims are,(10) Alhaji  Abdulgafar Ojo, a tricycle seller on Bonojo road, Ijebu Ode; (11)Iyalode Laide Sofiat Haruna, a sawmiller;  (12)Mrs Azeezat Balogun-Rabiu, daughter of Mrs balogun, Thermocool products merchant; (13)Mr Gbenro, haulage merchant and (14)Alhaja Mojisola Salam, a businesswoman. (15&16)Mr Muyiwa and wife, CEOs, Multilinks business venture and plumbing materials merchant were kidnapped separately within Ijebu Ode.

(17)Mrs Adetutu Alatishe, wife of Ade Alatishe, a PDP Chieftain and car dealer in Imowo area of Ijebu Ode is also a kidnap victim while One Iya Miliki, a cement distributor at Imepe, reportedly escaped the assailant, but her (18)pregnant daughter in-law was not lucky. She was kidnapped.

However, kidnap attempts were made on Mr Biodun Kazeem, CEO Fastlink Phones and Gadgets; Mr Kazeem Sansa, CEO Choice Phones ; Alhaji Imam Atoyegbe, cement merchant ; Azeez Snasa, Manager, LG Stores Ibadan Road, Ijebu Ode and Alhaji Anifowoshe, building materials merchant. 

The Daily Crucible gathered that some suspected kidnappers were arrested by the local vigilantes in Ijebu Ode and handed over to the Area Command, of the Nigerian Police early this year.

Sources said the suspects were subsequently transferred to the State Police Command in Eleweran, Abeokuta, but to the residents are worried that nothing has been heard about the case again.

Similarly, the Divisional Police in Ilese area of Ijebu North East local government, few weeks ago arrested four occupants of a Toyota Camry car in the early hours of the day. On suspicion, they were later found out to be suspected kidnappers and were thereafter transferred to Eleweeran.

One of the suspects whose name was given as Dada claimed to be a Police Inspector from SWART office, Adeniji Adele, Lagos but reside at Onirugba area of Ijebu Ode. Two of the arrested suspects also claimed Onirugba as place of residence while the 4th suspect gave Bonojo area of Ijebu Ode as residential address.

As at the time of arrest of arrest, one AK 47 rifle loaded with 21 life ammunition, four empty AK 47 magazines concealed in a black polythene bag, a cutlass, one life AK 47 found in Glove box of the car, a Jack knife, Tramadol drug, two Police fez caps with inscription SWART, a life barrel cartridge, SWART uniforms and five different charms pot were found with them.

Residents claimed that the suspects were  never paraded before newsmen in the usual police tradition or charge them to court till date, fuelling speculation of 'cover up' of alleged kidnap cases.

They have, however, once again sent a save-our-soul message to governor Dapo Abiodun, the paramount ruler and Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, other well-meaning people of Ijebuland and the Ogun State Police Command to help return the town to its old glory of a peaceful and safe community where socioeconomic activities thrive.

Reacting, the police spokesperson in Ogun State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) assured residents of Ijebu and the state of adequate security, disclosing that a number of the suspected kidnappers have been arrested and standing trial in court.

"Those who gave you catalogue of people who have been kidnapped over the years, did they also give you the catalogue of how many of the suspected kidnappers that we have  arrested in that Ijebu axis and facing prosecution? Those people who gave you the catalogue supposed to tell you how many kidnappers that were arrested in that axis as well. 

"As I speak, a number of them have been arrested and have confessed on their involvement in the numbers of victims they have kidnapped. Many of them are undergoing prosecution in court as we speak. With the special squad we have on ground now, residents and business are safe. We have our tactical team on ground not only in Ijebu axis but also in every part of the state to secure lives and properties," Oyeyemi said.

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