‘Victims of Igbonla kidnap not tortured, raped…’
• Ogun police arrest suspected armed robbers
The Lagos State Police Command yesterday confirmed that medical examinations carried out on the released students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe who were kidnapped last week revealed that the female among them was not raped and others not tortured.
The victims were rescued at about 11:00p.m. on Tuesday at Epe.
Spokesperson of the Lagos State police Command, Dolapo Badmos noted that the victims were discovered to be hale and hearty after the medical examination carried out on them.
According to Badmos, “They were released at around 11:00p.m. The Rapid Response Squad and other units were on the ground to pick them. We will arrest the perpetrators soon. There is no hiding place for any criminal in Nigeria.
“The victims were taken to the hospital for medical examination and the test showed they are very fine. They have since been reunited with their family members.”
A male victim had told his father “We were not assaulted by the kidnappers. They treated us well. They did not beat us. We thought they were going to rape the only female among us, but they did not. When she fell sick, they treated her with some drugs and it was because of her that the kidnappers released us on time.
The father of one of the victims, Mr. Oluwafemi Adebisi, said, “My son, Isaac, told me the same thing. They were not molested by the kidnappers. Their fear was that of health challenges and cross fire with the police.
“I thank God when I was called by midnight that the victims had been released. When I arrived the school, I saw my son alive.
“I was not afraid that something sinister might happen to neither Isaac nor other victims. I have been praying along with many other sympathisers and I had the assurance that they would come out alive. God has really done it.
“Let’s not talk of ransom. I did not pay any. I don’t know whether anyone paid. I did not pay. My joy is that my son and others are hale and hearty. I thank the state government and the police for the roles they played while the victims were in captivity. I want them to provide adequate security for schools within riverine area”
Effort to speak with any of the victims proved abortive as their relatives resisted, claiming they we’re still being traumatised by the ugly incident.
When newsmen visited the Epe General Hospital, a nurse said the victims were in the hospital for medical examination: “They were brought here by the school authority in company with the police for medical check-up. Normally, they were examined and counseled by the Doctor. They were not admitted. They were all brought to the Female Ward 5, as it was a special case.
When The Guardian visited the school, the security guard said there was instruction from the school management that no journalist should be allowed to enter the school.
However, hope was rekindled as parents who had earlier taken their children away were seen returning them to the school.
Suspected militants had abducted the Vice Principal, a teacher, and four students of the school in an operation that confounded security agents and the authorities.
Also, the Lagos State Government also confirmed the release of the four pupils and teachers of the Model College.
The Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the children have undergone medical check-up after which they were reunited with their families.
Ayorinde, while restating the government’s determination to protect lives and property, however urged residents to be more vigilant, security conscious and report all suspected persons and objects seen within their neighbourhood to the appropriate security agencies.
“The determination of the government to ensure 24-hour security of the state is evident in the huge investment in the equipment and welfare of security agencies, especially the police.”
The commissioner, however, said that government has taken adequate steps to stem the tide of kidnapping in the state, noting that in line with the directive of the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, plans have been concluded to commence the demolition of illegal structures erected across the state waterfronts and creeks.
In a related development, the Ogun State Police Command has arrested three suspected armed robbers/kidnappers, who have been terrorising Ijebu-Ode/Sagamu area of the state.
The culprits were rounded up by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), following a tip-off about their hideout in Ipoji area of Sagamu.
According to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the suspects: Abibu Onasanya, Kamorudeen Abdulahi and Olalekan Ogunbowale, are currently undergoing interrogation.
He noted that items recovered from them include: two pump action riffles, one double barrel gun, one English barrel gun and three locally made single barrel guns. According to him, the Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Iliyasu directed that the suspects be thoroughly investigated with a view to apprehend other members of the gang.
“The CP also appealed to members of the public to always give Police necessary and useful information to rid the state of crime and criminality because security is everybody’s business, especially as we are approaching Yuletide.