Kidnappers have introduced a new dimension to their illicit business. This time around, they storm victims’ schools, pretending to have been sent by their parents to pick them, only to take them to their hideouts which are usually hotels, from where they place calls to victims’ parents for ransom.
One of the latest suspect of this act, Ayobamidele Kudus Ayodele, abducted a six-year old boy, Ebube Eze, from Remson Group of Schools, located in Ojo Alaba area of Lagos, kept him hostage for four days until a ransom of N550,000 was paid for his release.
Father of the six-year-old boy, Mr Afam Eze, in his petition to the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Alkali Usman Baba, shortly after the release of his son, explained that he received a call from his wife, informing him that their son was missing on November 16, 2021.
He said that headmistress of the school was the first person the kidnapper contacted, demanding for N200,000 for his release.
But at the end of the bargain, N150,000 was paid into the strange caller’s account, with the name Abayomi Kudus Ayodele.
Thereafter, the kidnapper according to him, instructed them to go and wait at Ajagbandi junction, on the Mile Two/Badagry expressway, for their son, only to wait for four hours without any sight of him.
Rather, he said, the kidnapper called again, demanding for additional N2 million ransom for the lad’s release, with a stern warning to make the money ready on time if they wanted to see the boy alive.
He added that another round of negotiation began, at the end of which he sent additional N400,000 into two accounts .
As soon as the payment was confirmed, Afam said he was instructed to go to Igboelerin round about , where he found his son waiting for him.
He informed that when he registered the number with which the kidnapper contacted him, on his WhatsApp, his son identified the face of his abductor as that on the Display Picture (DP).
Detectives of IRT at the South West annex as gathered, tracked the suspected kidnaper to Mowe, Ogun State from where he (suspect), took them to the lounge where he kept the boy hostage.
Upon investigation, members of staff of the lounge told the detectives that the suspect told them the boy was his son.
During interrogation, the 23-year -old Ogun State born suspect revealed that he ran a one -man squad and that he learnt how to kidnap from Nollywood movies.
He said “Zubi Michael is my favorite Nollywood actor and he is good at kidnapping roles.
“I decided to try out some of the methods used by Zubi to kidnap children and adults in the movies.
“I started by visiting several schools around Ojo to see the possibility of picking children without anyone noticing.
“I saw a teacher passing by and she asked me what I was doing there. I was about to tell her that I wanted to make inquires about the school, but she immediately asked if I was there to register my child in school.
“I said yes and she told me to hold on that the children were writing their exams.
“She came out few minutes later and gave me a form. She also gave me her phone number and asked me to come with the child in the January 2022.
“As soon as she left, I hung around waiting for the right time to strike.
“Then I saw two pupils coming to school. One of them was holding a cane. I stopped them and started chatting with them.
“I took the cane from one of them and asked where he bought it. He mentioned the place but I told him to go and drop his bag and come back to show me where he bought it.
“I whispered into his ears that I would buy him chocolates and biscuits. I told him not to tell the person he was with and he nodded.
“He went in to drop his bag and came back. I told him we would need to enter a motorcycle to the place, he nodded in excitement.
“We rode to Alabarago junction. I gave him my phone that had a lot of games in it and he was so excited.
“The next thing I did was to contact the teacher that gave me her telephone number, to inform her that I had abducted one of her pupils.
“To avoid drawing attention to myself, I took the boy to Saudlat Lounge at One Love Unity Estate, off Igbanla, Idi Agbalumo, in Ilogbo Eremi, area of Lagos.
“The receptionist asked if he was my son and I said yes. She was further convinced when the boy called me daddy.
“That was after I had told him my name was daddy. I booked a room and paid N5000 per night.”
Asked why he did not release the boy after collecting the initial N150,000, Ayodele replied: “I felt I could get more money from the family since N150,000 was very easy for them to pay.
“I took the boy to another area called Magbo, from where I called his father and demanded for additional N2 million naira.
“While he was with me, I bought him ice cream, chicken and snacks. I assured him that I would take him back to school.
“We spent four days there before his family was able to raise N400,000. The boy stayed calm throughout because he had access to my phone which had several games.
“He only expressed worry once, saying his mother would be angry that he came home late. He didn’t even notice he had spent four days with me.
Recovered from him was a National Identity card which had Bode Oluwasegun on it, a name that was different from his, but had his picture on it.
When asked what it was for, he said: “The identity card is not fake. I just secured it in case banks block my account.”