It was a narrow escape for a SSS 2 student of State High School, Alimosho, a suburb of Lagos, Master Israel Ibikunle, after he was allegedly abducted on his way home by suspected ritual killers on Monday May 30, 2016.
It was gathered that the boy, who was living with one of his relatives on No 8, Ifeoluwa Street, Ipaja, was returning home from where he had gone to fetch water when he was seized by some men in an unmarked vehicle a few metres to his residence.
According to the boy, sensing that his cries might attract passers-by, his abductors quickly covered his mouth with handkerchief and bundled him into their vehicle, where he also met two other victims.
He said:” I had gone to collect ‘change’ (balance) from where I fetched water at about 7 pm when I was abducted by some men who parked their car at a nearby junction.
“I tried to raise the alarm but I was gaggled with a handkerchief by my captors who threw me into their vehicle and zoomed off.
I met two other victims, including a girl, inside the car and a female member of the gang dealt gave me several slaps and destroyed my handset perhaps to prevent me from using it to call my relatives.”
Israel disclosed that he was blindfolded and beaten up by his captors until they arrived at their den somewhere between Ayobo, Lagos State, and Itele area of Ota in Ogun State.
“We were driven for hours until they finally stopped at a place in a forest between Ayobo and Itele area of Lagos and Ogun states respectively.
“They removed the blindfold and the only woman among my captors hit me and the girl with a fetish substance on the chest several times. When her efforts failed to produce favourable result, she ordered that we should be released, saying: ”Awon eleyi o wulo fun nkan ta fe lowon fun o (These ones are not useful for any rituals). It then dawned on me that they were ritual killers prowling the neighbourhood for young victims.
“The girl and I were dragged out and released late in the night and we trekked for hours until we got separated and fled in different directions. I was weak and by the time I was found in the wee hours of Tuesday by members of the vigilance group who had been alerted by my guardian, I almost passed out”.
Speakingon the matter , Israel’s guardian, who identified herself simply as Funmi, said: “I left him (Israel) at home with my children not knowing that all was not well. I returned home only to discover that he was nowhere to be found. He left my children with one of our neighbours and I was hoping that he would soon return until late in the night. I was told that he left home to fetch water in a nearby building and had not been seen since. We organised a search party for him and combed everywhere in the Ipaja neighbourhood till around midnight but he was not found.
We were on our way to the nearest police station when some members of vigilance group turned us back and promised to search for him.
“We were shocked when they brought him home in the wee hours of Monday looking very unkempt and weak. He had bruises on his body and could barely talk until the next day”.