By Evelyn Usman, Olasukanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
There were indications, yesterday, that kidnappers of the Lagos State Fire Service Acting Director and six others have demanded N200 million ransom for their release.
A breakdown of the amount showed that N50 million ransom was requested for the release of the fire service boss, Rasaq Musibau, and N150 million for the others.
However, after much plea, Vanguard was reliably informed that the abductors agreed to reduce the amount. But they did not specify how much.
The abductors, during the conversation, assured family members of the safety of their captives. They, however, threatened to treat them harshly if their demand was not met.
It was gathered that when the abductors contacted the family of one of the captors in the early hours of yesterday, they promised to call again at a particular time but had not, as at press time.
We’re on their trail—Police
However, the police said they were still on the trail of the kidnappers, with a view to rescuing the captives alive.
Contacted, spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, DSP Elkana Bala, stated that it would be improper to disclose the operational strategy on ground to ensure the safety of the captors, noting that it might jeopardise operation.
He, however, maintained that the police teams directed by the command boss to effect the release of the captives were on their trail.
Ambode meets with security chiefs
Worried by the level of insecurity in Lagos State, Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday, met with security chiefs to discuss the abduction of the Fire Service boss and others, at the State House, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.
Sources at the meeting, attended by Executive Secretary, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, LSSTF, Abdurrazaq Balogun, and others, disclosed that other security challenges confronting the state were also deliberated on.
Addressing State House correspondent after the meeting, Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, Zubairu Muazu, disclosed that efforts have commenced to forestall any possible resurgence of kidnapping in the state.
He said: “I can confirm the abduction of the Director of Fire Service and six others. And since his kidnap, all the security agencies in the state have not rested on their oars; we are working towards prompt rescue of the victims.”
Police boss dispels report of return of kidnappers
Muazu, however, dispelled report that the abduction of the Fire Service boss indicated that kidnapping had returned to the state
He said: “I must clarify that this abduction does not mean that kidnapping has returned to the state. We all know when the spate was high and the level we are currently in Lagos. I can assure residents of Lagos State that all the security agencies in the state are working seriously to put a stop to this menace.”