NEWSCASTARS.COM had reported that nine students of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria who were abducted six days ago along the Kaduna-Abuja highway regained their freedom.
However, Families of the victims told Daily Trust their experience after they had initially demanded a cumulative ransom of N270 million, asking each parent to provide N30 million for the students’ freedom.
One of the relatives, who conveyed N500,000 to secure his sister’s release said:
“It was as if we were given the same time to bring the ransom. About 12 people were released on Saturday night among them the nine students; eight females and a male. Each family went with their ransom separately in a bag and we were all directed by the kidnappers.”
Another family source who delivered N800,000 for the release of his niece said; “Some paid N700,000, some paid N800,000 and another paid N1 million. However, we paid N800, 000 to get my niece out of the forest.
“If you are travelling to Abuja from Kaduna, immediately after the NYSC camp, there is a solar light at a small village called Dutse. By the side, there is a tarred road that goes into Gwagwada but before we got to Gwagwada, there is a road that will lead you to Maro village. It was on our way to Maro that we were diverted into the forest. We are in serious trouble in this country because this thing happened just close to the NYSC camp.”
Recounting how security operatives allegedly wished them luck, he added;
“We met with security agents who were patrolling the area while on our way and they asked us where we were going to because it was late at night. We told them we were on our way to pay ransom for the release of our relatives and the security agents wished us good luck.
“We drove for about 30 minutes inside the bush and then we saw some people on motorcycles and we were asked to hop on. We rode on the motorcycles for another 30 minutes deep into the forest.”
“We did as ordered because they were well-armed and so they searched our body and when they didn’t find anything, they collected the money and counted them all to be sure they were complete before they released the victims.
“We were asked to form a queue and one by one, we were attended to. If your money is complete, you will be asked to provide the name of the person you were paying for and the person will be called out then you will stand aside and the next person on the queue will be attended to.”
The source also said one of them said he was an ex-security agent who quit and joined the group while others claimed to be from the Niger Republic and Cameroon. He also revealed that the students and three others were released around 10 pm on Saturday but by the time they got to Abuja Junction, it was about 2am on Sunday.