From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
A farmer who was kidnapped in Iyemero Ekiti, Ikole, Ekiti State, on Friday night, has regained his freedom after paying millions in ransom.
The farmer, Alhaji Jimoh Olodan, was said to have been found in the forest at about 5:30 am on Monday by a search party composed of security agents and local hunters.
Olodan was abducted on Friday at Elegure farmstead near Iyemero after bandits numbering 18 had stormed the community in a desperate search for the successful farmer.
The bandits later called on Saturday and demanded N30 million in ransom from the family.
A source confided to reporters in Ado Ekiti, on Monday, that the farmer was released due to concerted efforts taken by local hunters, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Oodua Peoples Congress and Amotekun Corps.
The source said the N2 million paid was an instalment payment, saying the security agents were able to tighten the noose on the bandits by combing the sprawling forest between Ekiti-Kogi-Kwara borders.
‘The family had on Sunday paid a sum of N2 million of the ransom requested with a mission to continue with negotiation after getting the first tranche of the money,’ the source said.
‘But the search team in Iyemero Ekiti went on combing the entire forest to the borders of Ekiti with Kogi and Kwara States and went deep into the forest and pursued them on the nighttime.
‘Upon realising that the search party was closing in on them, they abandoned the man and ran away.
‘We thank God that the man was released unhurt and he was in good and sound health,’ the source said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, said the police led the search team that recovered the farmer from bandits.
‘I think I told you on Saturday that the police immediately swung into action upon hearing that the farmer was kidnapped.
‘So, we led the search team that chased the bandits into the forest to ensure that the victim was freed.’
Abutu said the police were not aware of the N2 million earlier paid by the family as an instalment payment to secure his release.