Hours after the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Olarinde Famous-Cole, said the police were working tactically to rescue the six abducted pupils of Lagos State Model College, in Igbonla, Epe, kidnappers who have held the pupils in captivity for about 13 days have rejected the N6 million ransom offered by parents of the kids.
A family source of one of the pupils yesterday disclosed that the kidnappers declined the ransom offered by the parents, insisting on only accepting the N100 million demanded from the state government. According to the source, the kidnappers lambasted the parents for offering such paltry sum when their children in captivity were not crayfish.
“Initially, we raised around N2 million but they rejected it on the ground that it was too small. Later everyone had to rush up and down again to add to the money and we were able to gather around N6 million. When we contacted them, they rejected it again. The N6 million was supposed to be presented jointly as N1 million per student but they said they do not want, that they only want the government to pay the N100 million ransom.”
Meanwhile, with no end in sight for the release of the six students, the Nigerian Navy yesterday said they were teaming up with the police to effect the release of the boys.
The navy’s collaboration is coming on the heels of the relocation of the abducted students from the kidnapper’s initial hideout within Lagos creeks to another hideout around the Ondo creeks.
The relocation was carried out after operatives of the Inspector General of Police Investigation Response Team (IRT) arrested three members of the gang identified as Egelu Endurance aka Jubby, Stanley Yomi Irabomini aka Powei and Bentel Endurance.
A police source who spoke on anonymity said the collaboration of the navy was much needed because the efforts of the police were being thwarted by the non-navigable terrain of the creeks.
“After we made the arrests, the kidnappers moved the students farther into the creeks, where our boats from the Marine police cannot penetrate. For that terrain, which is ridden with thick bushes and foliages, what we need is swarm buggies and flat boats. As it is now, we are frustrated at every turn because although we know the general area where the kidnappers are, we can’t storm in.”
Last Saturday, one of the parents who took N2 million to a designated point at Odongunyan, ended up not seeing anyone as the caller kept changing the collection point.
The kidnappers had given parents of the abducted students Tuesday last week as deadline for payment of N20 million as ransom for the release of each student, threatening to relocate them if their demand was not met.
However, the kidnappers later asked the parents to prevail on the Lagos State government to pay a ransom of N100 million for all six students, a demand that is yet to be met.