Gunmen collected over N34.5m as ransom for eight kidnap victims in Ogun in a week.
The kidnappers suspected to be herdsmen reportedly collected over N30m from the eight victims in three separate operations carried out in different parts of Ogun State.
The PUNCH had reported that some kidnappers abducted a businesswoman and her guest in Ofada village, in the Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area; a driver and three passengers on Abeokuta-Ayetoro Road, as well as four victims in Ibara-Orile in Abeokuta-North LGA.
While the kidnap of the businesswoman and her guest occurred two weeks ago, the two others incidents happened last week. However, they were all released after a total of over N34.5m ransom was paid to the abductors.
Our correspondent gathered that the kidnappers of the victims at Ibara-Orile collected N34.5m from the husband of one of the victims.
It was further gathered that for the drivers and the three passengers on Abeokuta-Ayetoro Road, N4.5m was paid on Saturday.
The businesswoman and her guest, who were released last week, reportedly parted with undisclosed amount of money.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed that the victims had been released.
Oyeyemi, however, denied knowledge of payment of ransoms by the victims’ families.
He said “We are not a party to any payment of ransom. When they want to do it, they will not carry the police along.”
When asked about the growing payment of ransom by victims’ families, the PPRO said, “How do we do it when you are not carried along? By the time they start the negotiation, we are not even aware.”