Some unidentified gunmen on Wednesday abducted five (5) National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members. The Corpers were travelling to their Orientation camps in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states. It was also reported that the two other passengers travelling with the Corp members abducted.
Before the ugly incident, the victims were travelling from Ibadan to Rivers and Akwa Ibom states where they were posted for the three weeks orientation exercise. They were abducted along the Owerri-Port Harcourt Expressway and taken to the Umuapu forest in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, while briefing newsmen after the victims were rescued by the police, Dasuki Galadanchi, said: The abductors contacted the families of the corp members and demanded N5million ransom. He mentioned the names of the corp members abducted as; Shonibare, Ademola, Abiola Temitope, Olubisi Adekanmi, Folarin Opeyemi, while the other two victims were identified as Raymond Ojodahe and Leonard Uzondu.
“The corp members abducted were travelling from Ibadan to Port Harcourt. Five out of the seven (7) of them are prospective corps members. They were travelling to the NYSC Orientation Camps in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states for the three (3) weeks camping. They were abducted around 5 am on Wednesday at Umuapu, on the Owerri-Port-Harcourt Expressway. The abductors took them to a forest and made away their belongings, including phones, money, ATM cards and voter cards.
They were forced to call their relatives at home to speak to them. They instilled fear in the parents, immediately contact was established and demanded N5million for their freedom. Through intelligence report, the Counter Terrorism Unit Operatives of the command were alerted.
However, the operatives went into the bush and on sighting the operatives, the abductors abandoned their victims and fled. We rescued them unhurt, but the criminals carted away with their valuables. This is part importance of community policing. I urge all Imolites to keep sharing information with the police.” Dasuki, therefore, ordered an investigation into the ‘corp members abducted’ incident with a view to arresting the fleeing suspects.
“They stopped our bus, at gunpoint, ordered us to follow them into the forest. They were five (5) with guns and machetes. In the bush, they collected our belongings except for our credentials and impelled us to call our parents. They made a demand of N5million ransom, but they later brought it down to N3million. They asked us to close our eyes. They even ended up quarrelling on how to share our belongings which they collected from us. It was in the middle of the drama the police intervened and they abandoned us and took to their heels.” Abiola, one of the victims narrated.