January 26, 2022

Celebrating Excellence & Integrity

Kidnapped Victim

We trekked for hours, ate like slaves – kidnap victims UNIABUJA

Some of the people abducted at the University of Abuja Senior Staff Quarters and rescued by the police have recounted their ordeals in the kidnappers’ den.

According to them, on the first day, they drank garri with dirty water, while on the second day they were given leftover food.

They said they trekked for hours and were moved around different areas.

Gunmen had abducted six persons, including two professors, a deputy registrar and three family members, during an early hour raid on the university’s staff quarters last Tuesday.

The hoodlums had demanded N300m for their release before the police rescued the victims on Friday.

Narrating his ordeal to PUNCH Metro on Saturday, a victim, Professor Joseph Obansa, said he never imagined he would go through what he suffered in the hands of his abductors.

He said, “They made us walk over a long stretch, day and night, and when it’s day time, they blindfolded us. On the first day, they fed us with garri with unclean water.

 “The second day, they harvested yams from people’s farms and roasted them. They gave us the yam to eat after they finished eating. We were fed like slaves.

“There was a time when I couldn’t move again after trekking for a long time. They kicked and threatened to waste me if I didn’t stand up. My son had to help me up.  It was a very terrible experience; I never trekked continuously for that long in my life.”

He noted that the abductors called for a swap after some of them (kidnappers) were arrested.

Obansa said, “They foresaw getting a ransom from us was not feasible.  They said they were not interested in the ransom again. They said if they released their friends, they would release us or they would kill us. They freed us around 2am on Friday.”

Joseph’s son, John, said he lost hope after the hoodlums demanded a huge ransom.

He said he was happy he went with his father into the forest, adding that he (John) carried him (Joseph) after he was exhausted and the kidnappers threatened to kill him.

“I thought the police had abandoned us, but they made some moves which eventually paid off,” he added.

Another victim, Sambo Mohammed, said he could not confirm if a swap was made by the police, but he overheard when negotiations were on.

He said, “I speak Hausa language well; it gave me the opportunity to interact and I became close to them. For this particular operation that they undertook, there were some people that sponsored and led them to this place.

“They don’t stay in a place; they pushed them from Kaduna and Zamfara states. Because there is no network, they decided to come to this area where network is available.

“They are not from here. I can confirm that, they even told us that they would move us to Zamfara if they did not get their ransom.”

The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Josephine Adeh, said neither was a swap made nor ransom paid to rescue the victims.

She said, “The victims were rescued through the joint efforts of all security operatives in FCT. We engaged the kidnappers in a gun duel and arrested eight.”

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