How We Were Tortured, Forced To Pay N31m Ransom By Fulani Gunmen..Oyo Kidnap Victims


Two farmers, Mr Emmanuel Olalere and Mr Gbenga Idowu, were kidnapped on Sunday, May 12, at Longe Village along Ibadan-Ijebu Ode Road in Oyo State by armed men suspected to be Fulani gunmen. They were held hostage for two nights before regaining freedom. The two victims have narrated their experiences in the hands of their captors, saying that they would not have believed such a thing would happen to them if it was predicted.

The third farmer, Mr Segun Afolabi, was not even available where the two others were being attended to by their families. Afolabi could not cope with the very harsh treatment he was subjected to, as he landed in hospital the very night they were released on May 14, at about 8 p.m.

Their freedom did not come free however, as they coughed out N31 million despite the torture and suffering they went through. Olalere was made to pay 20 million; Afolabi paid N10 million and Idowu, the oldest among the three men, paid N1 million.

Recalling what they went through, Olalere told Saturday Tribune: “On Sunday, May 12, I was coming from Ijebu Ode with two other farmers, Mr Idowu and Mr Afolabi. I was the one who drove our unregistered Toyota Corolla car. We are Ibadan indigenes but farming in Ogun State.

“I got to Longe Village when I saw one armed man come out of the bush. It was at about 6 p.m. I thought he was a soldier. He wore black attire and used face mask, leaving openings for his eyes. He also wove muffler round his head and neck.

“He shot into the air and I quickly engaged the gear in reverse, with the thought of escaping. However, he fired another shot which penetrated our car. I looked back and saw that others had also come out of the bush and stood menacingly behind me. I could not move again because if I tried it, all of us in the car would have been wasted.

“They were seven in number, with the leader and two others bearing AK-47 rifles. The four remaining ones held machetes, daggers and sticks.

“They dragged us out of the car and started pummelling us with different objects, including logs of wood. One of them used his rubber sandal to give me a slap on the left side. Since then, I have not been able to hear very well.

“They collected our phones from us and took us into the bush. We saw a man with them whom we believed had been captured earlier. We walked for about three hours before we were told to sit inside the forest. After resting for a while, we continued the walk. Whenever they asked for money and we told them that we didn’t have, they would descend on us with big sticks.

“At about 11 .pm., they gave us our phones to call our family members that we had been kidnapped. My people had been calling when they didn’t see us arrive home in Ibadan and didn’t hear from us. Anytime we told them that we didn’t have money for ransom, they would start hitting us with big sticks. As we lay down before them, they would stamp their feet on us ferociously as if to break our spinal cords. It was just too much.

“On Monday morning, they took us to a spot. We were so shaken to the marrow when we saw two corpses that they covered with leaves. They told us that that would be our lot if the ransom they were demanding was not paid in good time.

“Before leaving the place where we have our farms, one of my bosses told me that he would send N20 million for me to purchase cocoa beans for him. Unfortunately for me, the credit alert of the payment came when the kidnappers were with my phone. Immediately they saw it, they were so angry, saying that I deceived them by saying I didn’t have money. All explanations and entreaties to them were ignored. They started beating me mercilessly.  I thought I would die.

“They blindfolded me tightly, tied my hands behind me and put a knife to my neck, threatening to kill me. They demanded for the entire N20 million. I had to call my family and friends to let my life be spared and look for ways to look for the money. I believed that if my life is spared, I would gradually pay the debt they were putting on me. It was after paying it, with the N11 million collected from two others, that we were released.”

Idowu also told his own story thus: “That day was like magic unfolding when we suddenly came in contact with the kidnappers. It was like a dream. They started torturing us immediately they took us inside the bush. They blindfolded us all tightly.

“The torture was increased during the negotiation of ransom. They demanded for N5 million from me. I told them I didn’t have a personal house except half plot of land which could be sold for between N700,000 and N800,000.

•Corpses of some victims found in the bush

My family started pleading my cause until they accepted N1 million. However, my co-farmers in whose accounts they saw money sent to them to help in purchasing cocoa beans were not spared. They collected N20 million from Olalere, N10 million from Afolabi and N1 million from me, making N31 million, which was brought to them in cash. They didn’t get anything from the man we saw with them. He later told us that he was in the bush cutting trees for firewood that he would sell to survive when he was captured.

“Since I was born till my age now, I have never experienced the kind of torture I went through. We were not given food to taste or water till we were released. Our only saving grace was the rain which fell in the middle of the night.  We used leaves to collect raindrops to drink. We were so beaten by the rain while they covered themselves with a very wide nylon. We were shivering from the cold brought by the rain which soaked our bodies.

“The third man, Segun Afolabi, was beaten so much that he was taken to a hospital immediately we were released.  He is a very slim man, and they were saying that he told a lie that he didn’t have money, not knowing that the one found in the alert sent to his phone was to help a trader buy seeds.”

During the particular operation, the kidnappers shot at two other vehicles, a Toyota Sienna bus and a Mazda6 car. The Mazda car driver, later identified as Abiodun Emmanuel Omotoye, and that of Sienna bus were said to have made spirited efforts to escape from the kidnappers’ attack, causing their being fired at.

The Mazda car driver was killed, while the two female and two male occupants of the Sienna bus sustained gunshot injuries. Another man in the bus also sustained injuries from the glass shattered by the kidnappers’ bullets. All the vehicles involved were not spared as they were all riddled with bullets.

The female passenger hit by stray bullet.

Other previous attacks

Operations by the kidnappers had been going on before they descended on Ibadan axis. Information gathered revealed that the kidnappers struck at Maya axis on Lanlate-Eruwa Road, Ibarapa area of the state on Thursday, April 18, and attacked two vehicles.

It was learnt that a female passenger was hit on the chest by the kidnappers’ bullets as they emerged from the bush and started shooting sporadically. She died instantly. The rest of the passengers were taken as hostages into the bush. The body of the deceased was later picked by the police and deposited in the mortuary.

Same evening, according to information, operatives of the state police command, led by the Area Commander, soldiers and other security personnel started combing the bush to search for and rescue the victims, as well as apprehend the kidnappers.

The following day, the search continued until the security operatives found seven victims already killed by the kidnappers. They were said to have been infuriated that the operatives were trying to rescue their meal tickets, thereby destabilising their criminal intent.

They exited the bush through another route they are accustomed to as born herders. However, two of the victims were rescued by the police operatives and local hunters.

One of the murdered victims was a clergyman with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Olugbenga Olawore, who was returning to Ipapo. He was said to have gone there to finalise the arrangements towards his mother’s burial which was coming up less than two weeks to the time he was kidnapped.

Earlier same week, a woman and her three children were kidnapped when they didn’t get her husband. Unconfirmed reports had it only two children regained freedom after payment of ransom. The woman and one of her children did not survive the abduction.

Another man known as Pastor Joseph who was also kidnapped was however fortunate to escape from his captors.

It was learnt that the kidnappers used to hibernate on very expansive land formerly belonging to a popular farm, so much that farmers could not even till the land out of fear of these attackers.

The kidnappers were also at Bare and Ogunmakin communities in the pacesetter state where they took farm workers and two female labourers as hostages. They were said to have usually asked for the farm owners, who, apparently, were their targets. In their absence, they would go for anyone they could lay their hands on.

Two women who were working in the bush reportedly paid N1 million after they were abducted, while a farm manager and a worker paid over N3 million before they regained freedom. As it was in the case of the three farmers, the farm manager had to be admitted because of the severe torture he received from the kidnappers while the worker was shot in the left leg and also beaten severely.

The Mazda6 driver

Ogun State

Ogun State is no exception in these kidnap cases as it is linked with Oyo on Lagos-Ibadan expressway and Ibadan-Ijebu Ode Road.

Many instances of kidnapping abound in the Gateway state, one of which occurred on May 3. It was learnt that three Indians who are principals in a company located on Ibadan-Lagos expressway, were kidnapped out of 16 who were returning to their residences.

The kidnappers were said to have shot at two Toyota Hiace buses with registration numbers FST 686 YH ash colour and SMK 986 YE black colour that were conveying them.

In response to the shooting, the mobile police officer attached to the bus in front exchanged fire with the kidnappers and managed to escape with all the occupants.

However, three Indian nationals namely: Tejaram Chauhan; Kaduwal Pradhan and Medani Kathiwada, inside the second bus without police escort were all kidnapped to an unknown destination.

After the manager of the company reported the incident at Mowe police station, Saturday Tribune learnt that the anti-kidnapping section of the command and police formations in the axis, with other local security agents, swung into action by combing the area.

“Policemen engaged the kidnappers in a fierce gun battle as they confronted them in the forest along Benin-Sagamu Papalanto at about 1630hrs (4:30 p.m.) of today, May 7, 2024, and succeeded in the rescue of the victims unhurt,” the Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu had stated.

He said that in the course of the encounter, two of the six kidnappers were neutralised while two AK-47 rifles, a single barrel locally-made gun, a sword, cell phone, criminal charms and 65 rounds of ammunition were recovered.

In addition to the recovery was the cash sum of N7.9 million, which was likely to be the ransom with the two neutralised kidnappers, and 1,500 Rupees (Indian currency).

Another survivor

Kogi State

It will also be recalled that on Thursday, May 9, bandits stormed the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara, Okene, Kogi State, and abducted 23 students.

The students were in their classes to read in preparation for the first semester examination scheduled for Monday, May 13 when the gunmen entered, shooting, before they were whisked off to an unknown destination.

In the same state, two women were kidnapped in Yagba West and Yagba East Local Government Areas.


Kwara State

In Kwara State 11 market women and a two-year-old child were abducted after they were ambushed around Oyi Bridge in Yaaru/Olayinka village along Ajase-ipo/Oke-Ode road between 6 and 7 pm while returning from the market.

They were rescued on Monday by a combined team of security outfits.


Ekiti State

In Ekiti, teachers and pupils of Apostolic Faith Montessori Nursery and Primary School, Emure Ekiti, were abducted by the assailants on Monday, January 29, from their school bus. The victims regained freedom on February 4 after the payment of N15 million as ransom to the kidnappers. Two of the suspected kidnappers, Yahaya Jubril and Usman Garba, were later arrested in Owo forest, Ondo State, it was learnt.



In Benue, a 50-year-old man was found unconscious after he had been tortured by his abductors, probably due to his inability to pay a ransom. He was rescued in a joint operation by security forces and taken to General Hospital, Zaki-Biam, where he later regained consciousness.



In Kaduna, school officials and residents had said that 287 students were abducted on March 7 in the town of Kuriga. However, military spokesperson, Major General Edward Buba, said that 137 hostages consisting of 76 females and 61 males were rescued in the early hours of Sunday, March 24, in neighbouring Zamfara State.


South East/South South

It was the same story in the South Eastern and South Southern parts of the country, as the news is daily reported in the media. Kidnappings by these criminal gangs demanding ransoms from Nigerians, most of whom are contending with the economic woes they grapple with, have created much fear that many are afraid of travelling, even from one community to the other.

It has got to a stage, as learnt by Saturday Tribune, that families and communities are often forced to sell land, cattle and grain to secure the release of their loved ones for ransom payment.


Way to go

The Oyo victims appealed to federal and state governments to find a lasting solution to the security challenges.

According to Mr Olalere, “We appeal to the federal and state governments to promptly secure Ibadan-Ijebu Ode road because of the kidnappers. The road has become so fearful to pass through. It has become a snare of death for all commuters, whether in private or commercial vehicles.

“Danger is always lurking on the road and could befall anyone at any time of the day. Once the Fulanis carry out their operation within five minutes, they would withdraw into the forest. The road be made safe for us. That is what we expect from those in power.”

The Kogi Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, while giving details of the security situation in the state at the time of the rescue of the victims, disclosed that “the state government under the leadership of Governor Ahmed Ododo is rising to the challenge of defeating the torrent of criminality waged against the state in the last one month.”

He stated that the move of security agencies in countering attacks by the insurgents, bandits and kidnappers in the North East had dislodged them, making many of them to try and penetrate the North Central.

The commissioner assured that the state government had deployed an iron-cast approach to safeguard the state from onslaught by criminals.



Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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