Women leader, Redeemed Church of God, Cornerstone Parish, Lagos, Mrs. Adebusola Odunaya, on Tuesday described her release by kidnappers after six days of captivity as an act of God.
We reported last Thursday that Adebusola had on Saturday, September 21, left home for Lagos to buy beverages and some other items but could not be found for six days.
But the 37-year-old Adebusola resurfaced on September 27.
In a telephone interview, Adebusola said although she could not recognise the exact spot, she was held in a bush along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and was released after six days.
Adebusola said, “On the fateful day, I was to go to Lagos Island to pick my stock of noodles. It was past 12 noon.
“When I got to Ishaga area, there was no vehicle there. I decided to go to Agege to board a bus. When I got to Agege, there was no direct bus going to Idumota on Lagos Island. I had to board an Oshodi vehicle (molue). As we were already in the vehicle, I heard a conductor calling Idumota. I had to alight from the vehicle I was in and went for that.
“When I got there, the vehicle was still loading. Three women and the driver were inside. I joined them. As soon as I did, the women then asked the driver to move so that they could carry people along the road. I became happy that the vehicle would be fast.
“As we were expecting the vehicle to move, the conductor came and touched me with the handkerchief he was holding. That was when I fell asleep. I did not wake until five days after in a forest along Lagos- Ibadan Expressway.”
Adebusola said when she regained consciousness on the fifth day, she found out that her hair had been cut and the money she wanted to use to pay for the items, about N500, 000 had been taken.
“They ransacked my bag and saw our General Overseer’s (Pastor Enoch Adeboye) picture and Redeemed wristband. They asked me, ‘So you are a member of Redeemed?’ I said yes.
“Two men among the kidnappers ordered me to call my family. As I called my brother, they were telling me what to say. When I looked at the front, I saw a horrible looking hut. There were two women lying unconscious near it. I don’t know if the women were alive or dead. The whole place looked scary.
“They said, ‘thank God for your life.’ They now led me through the jungle to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and left me. That was how I was freed from the kidnappers.”
Police smash kidnap syndicate, arrest eight
Meanwhile, the police in Lagos have arrested a gang of eight, including a woman, suspected to have killed a businessman, Mr. Odidi Nweze, in FESTAC recently.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, said the suspects’ modus operandi was to kidnap their victims and take them to FESTAC.
Manko said the command was worried by the number of victims who had been taken to FESTAC.
He said, “In the cases of kidnapping that had been recorded of recent, victims were usually drugged and taken to FESTAC. Now, we have smashed this particular syndicate. Its ring leader, Kelvin Emenike, was the first to be arrested. Though he lives in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, he was lured to Lagos by the police under the guise of a business proposal.
“It was Emenike who led the police to arrest the seven other gang members, including a woman. There is a previous case of suspected murder of a clearing agent linked to this group.”
He said the suspects who used an uncompleted building located somewhere in Okota, Lagos as their hideout were in the habit of trailing their victims to an obscure place, abduct and blindfold them before taking them to their hideout in Okota.
Whenever the victims’ families pay ransom, Manko said, it was the woman that usually collects and shares it among members of the gang.
Emenike, who confessed to the crime, said the gang killed the businessman because he attempted to snatch a gun from one of them.
He said, “Although the parents later paid N1.2m out of the money we demanded, we killed him even before they paid the money.
“When he was kidnapped at Satellite Town, as we were going to Okota, he attempted to disarm one of us. So, I grabbed the gun and fired him point blank. He later bled to death.”
When asked how he picked his targets, Emenike said they usually go on motorcycles and trail people in flashy cars, adding that they would then attack the victims and demand ransom from their families.
Emenike said, “There was one time that we kidnapped two people in a jeep but the victims told us that the vehicle wasn’t theirs and we later let them go. Most times, we receive between N1m and N5m as ransom depending on how the family negotiates.”