Kidnappers of three landlords at Oshorun Heritage Estate in Isheri, Lagos State, have demanded N900 million to release them.
Gunmen clad in military camouflages on Saturday morning stormed Channels Avenue, whisking away Kennedy Ucheagwu, Dr. Omololu Bello and Mr. Esang, who were on their routine exercise.
A resident, told The Nation that the kidnappers contacted the family of one of the victims to demand the ransom.
He said the kidnappers demanded N300million on each victim. The whereabouts of Coach Ola was still shrounded in mystery yesterday. He was said to have run away when the kidnappers struck, but he has not been seen since then.
But the Estate President, Oni Opeyemi and the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone II, Abdulmajid Ali said they were yet to substantiate the claim, adding that they heard it as rumour.
A resident, Yinka Omobuye, who trailed the path of the kidnappers into the forest, said that he heard them arguing amongst themselves.
He said that he trekked two kilometres into the bush and observed that bullets riddled some of the buildings.
According to him, a woman came out of her compound inside the bush and acknowledged that four armed men held three hostages through that route, an indication that Coach Ola was not among those kidnapped.
“I walked two kilometres into the bush and got to the river. When I got to the river, I noticed that the water was disturbed, which showed some people might have passed. I crossed the river too and I started seeing footprints. I saw footprints prints of trainers and boots. At that point, I confirmed what the woman told me that they passed there. As I walked a little farther, I heard people arguing and almost fighting. I guess they were the kidnappers arguing amongst themselves. At that point, I retreated.”
Other residents who blamed the police for the successful abduction, insisted that over 40 policemen stormed the area on Saturday morning, but were more concerned about issues of jurisdiction.
The Nation gathered that policemen from Lagos and Ogun command engaged in heated argument and almost fought on whose jurisdiction it was, despite being told that the criminals were heard arguing in the forest.
It was gathered that none of the policemen entered the forest in search of the victims until Saturday evening, when the AIG Ali ordered the deployment of surveillance helicopters and special forces.
“The police were here arguing and almost fighting over whose jurisdiction it is. We told them that those kidnappers have not gone far, that if they could enter, they will capture them, but they did not hear. It was very shameful that all the policemen who came here were more concerned about whose jurisdiction the place fell under.
“We even wanted our own security and OPC to enter but the policemen said if they should go there with guns, that the kidnappers might kill the victims. They discouraged the OPC people from going,” said a resident.