Five members of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) posted to Akwa Ibom and Rivers states who were kidnapped on Wednesday by unidentified gunmen on their way to their orientation camps have been rescued.
The victims were travelling from Ibadan, Oyo State capital, to Rivers and Akwa Ibom states where they were posted to undertake their three-week NYSC orientation.
The kidnapped victims were coming from Ibadan and they were kidnapped on the Owerri-Port Harcourt Expressway and taken to the Umuapu forest in the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
After the victims were rescued, the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Dasuk Galadanchi said the kidnappers established contact with the families of the corps members and demanded N5m ransom.
The Commissioner of Police identified the corps members as Abiola Temitope, Olubisi Adekanmi, Jose Temitayo, Folarin Opeyemi and Shonibare Ademola, while the other two victims were identified as Leonard Uzondu and Raymond Ojodahe.
The CP said, “the victims were travelling from Ibadan to Port Harcourt. Five out of seven were prospective corps members. They were on their way to the NYSC orientation camps in Rivers State and Akwa Ibom states for the three weeks camping.
“They were kidnapped around 5 am on Wednesday at Umuapu on the Owerri Port Harcourt Expressway. The kidnappers took them to a forest and dispossessed them of all their belongings, including money, phone, ATM cards and voter cards.
“They compelled them to call their relatives to speak to them. Immediately contact was established, they instilled fear in the parents and demanded N5m for their freedom.
“The operatives went into the bush and on sighting the officers, the kidnappers abandoned their victims and fled. We rescued them unhurt, but the hoodlums made away with their valuables.
“This is part of the dividends of community policing. I urge Imo State residents to keep sharing information with the police. We cannot do it alone,” he added.
Galadanchi said an investigation is being carried out into the incident with a view to arresting the suspects.
One of the victims, Abiola, recounted, “they stopped our bus and ordered us at gunpoint to follow them into the forest. They were five with guns and machetes.
“In the bush, they took our belongings except for our credentials and ordered us to call our parents. They made a demand of N5m, but they later brought it down to N3m.
“They ordered us to close our eyes. They were even quarrelling on how to share our personal belongings which they took from us. It was in the process that the police intervened and they abandoned us and ran away.”