Family members of the kidnapped pupils and teachers from the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools in Emure-Ekiti have revealed that they paid a ransom of N15 million, along with energy drinks, tramadol, and fried rice, to secure the release of the hostages.
Last Monday, gunmen ambushed the school bus carrying the pupils and staff, taking five pupils and four staff members, including the driver, into the forest. The kidnappers later contacted the families and initially demanded a ransom of N100 million. However, after negotiations, the amount was reduced to N15 million by Thursday.
The released hostages were found in a forest between Owo and Oba-Akoko in Ondo State at around 1:30 am on Sunday.
One parent, who requested anonymity, shared that the community members and indigenes, both locally and abroad, contributed to the ransom. The kidnappers instructed the family to bring the ransom, along with other items such as fried rice, drinks, and tramadol, to the forest for the release of the eight victims.
Unfortunately, the driver was killed by the kidnappers when he failed to provide the phone numbers of his relatives for ransom contact. The driver’s body was reportedly burned in the bush, according to information provided by the pupils.
Despite the harrowing experience, the parents expressed gratitude for the safe return of their children and spouses. They acknowledged the efforts of the state government and security agencies in resolving the situation.
The Ekiti State Police Command, in a statement issued by DSP Abutu Sunday, claimed that a combined team of police, Amotekun Corps, local vigilantes, and hunters, with support from the state and federal governments, successfully rescued the victims. The rescued individuals have been handed over to the state government for medical examination and care.
When asked about the ransom payment, the police spokesperson stated that they were not aware of it.