Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musibau (middle), during the celebration of his release from kidnappers in Lagos… yesterday.
• Our ordeal at kidnappers den in Ondo creek
• Police arrest two suspects over abduction
The jubilation was wild yesterday at the Lagos State Fire Service, as its acting director, Rasaki Musibau, in all smiles and decked in his smartly ironed uniform strode into his office a few hours after his abductees released him. The fire boss and six others kidnapped at the weekend were released by their abductors at midnight. The Guardian gathered that a ransom was paid by the Lagos State government to secure their release.
Instead of staying back at home to get over the trauma of his ordeal, Musibau resumed work immediately to the waiting hands of his over-joyous workers. It was as if he had been away for a year. Surrounded by the jubilant workers, Musibau made his ward round the offices to acknowledge cheers and shake hands. Nothing in him betrayed the turmoil he had endured in the last 72 hours since Saturday night when he was abducted at Ketu-Ereyun, Ikorodu area of Lagos, with other six victims.
Thereafter, the workers gathered to celebrate their boss’ freedom with songs of victory and appreciation to God for answered prayers. Musibau danced and sang along with other staff. Amid the celebration in the homes of the released victims, one of them was rushed to the hospital yesterday, over what was later diagnosed as malaria. Although when The Guardian contacted three of them, including the fire service boss, they declined comments, but rather appreciated God for arriving their homes in good conditions.
But a relative of one of the released persons, who simply gave his name as Oluwagbemiga, revealed that the victims were kept in a creek around Ondo State. He revealed that after they were abducted, they were taken into a boat to an undisclosed destination, with stern instruction to keep calm or have their heads blown off if they acted otherwise.
According to Olugbemiga, “we rejoice over the release of our relative. Since they were abducted, we have been fasting and praying for their safe arrival. They said they were moved to three destinations before they were released.“While there, they were fed with rice and noodles but they refused to eat. They said conversation between those that held them hostage and those negotiating the ransom for their release was done at midnight.
“They also said that the group that picked them was different from the group which held them hostage. They said that their captors threatened that if they did not get the ransom by midnight (Tuesday), they would change the game for them.”
Asked how much was paid as ransom, he kept mum. Meanwhile, two suspected members of the kidnap gang have been arrested. The suspects identified as Blessing Bayo, 29 and Smart Alfred, 32 are indigenes of Arogbo, Ondo State. The suspects are now assisting the police in advancing investigation into the bizarre crime that is making residents believe that the dark days of kidnapping in Lagos are back.
The spokesman of the Lagos police command, Bala Elkana, said: “Following a sustained and well coordinated operations by the command’s tactical teams led by the Officer in Charge of Anti Kidnapping Unit, SP Bulus Musa, two members of the kidnapping gang that abducted Rasaki Musibau and six others on April 6, at about 8:00p.m. were arrested.
“The suspects were arrested yesterday at about 5:30a.m. at Ibafun along Ikorodu-Ijebu Ode expressway, a boundary community with Ogun State and they all confessed to the commission of the crime. Two single barrel guns were recovered from them. Investigation is ongoing and efforts are in place to arrest other fleeing members of the gang,” he said.
Elkana also noted that the victims were set free at night. According to him, “on April 9, at about 11:45p.m. the Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musibau and six others kidnapped on April 6, were released unhurt by their abductors.
“The victims have since reunited with their families. The Command’s Tactical teams are still in the creeks and forests combating the hoodlums. A watertight security measures are emplaced across the state to forestall future occurrence. The command deeply appreciate the support of Lagos State government and the good people of the state who stood by us and also provided useful information that facilitated the prompt rescue of the victims.”