By Moshood Adebayo
The abductors of the Oniba of Iba, Oba Goriola Oseni, yesterday confessed that they received N15.1million ransom before he was released on Saturday.
One of the nine-man gang, Isaiah, told newsmen yesterday at the Government House, Ikeja, Lagos where he was paraded along with another suspect, Ighodo that they demanded for N500million but eventually got N15.1million.
Oba Oseni was abducted from his palace at Iba, headquaerters of Iba Local Council Development Area on July 16 this year. During the abduction, two persons were shot by the kidnappers.
Ighodo, who admitted that he is oil thief, lamented that other six members of the gang were at large, leaving only two of them to face the law.
Explaining the negotiation process between the monarch’s family and them, he said they initially demanded N500 million as ransom, but the monarch’s family reduced it to N40 million.
“After pleas from the family, we later agreed and received N15.1 million in two installments of N12 million and N3.1 million
“Out of the amount, I received N200, 000 in two instalments of N100, 000, while Ighodo received N1.2 million and other members of the gang who are now at large received the lion share.
“I was the person who paddled the Oniba to safety. This happened after the sum of N3.1 million was paid in addition to the earlier N12 million paid.
“However, we were still demanding for more money.”
He disclosed that they used two AK-47, three Pump Action guns, which they acquired for the operation.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has expressed delight over the release of the monarch and commended the police and other security agencies for their all-round efforts in securing the release of the Oba as well as the arrest of some of the kidnappers.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, who represented Ambode described the kidnap of the monarch as a sacrilege and complete desecration of the cultural values of the Yoruba people which must not go unpunished.
“That is why the investigation has been painstaking and purposeful to ensure that the kidnappers were apprehended. The arrest of these suspects is a clear warning to criminal elements that we value and cherish our tradition and will leave no stone unturned to ensure that it is protected from violation by those who have desecrated our values”.
The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who said it did not matter whether ransom was paid or not attributed the success recorded to the combined efforts of all agencies in the state as well as the special team of the Inspector General of Police from Abuja.
“We’ve always reiterated that it is not about whether ransom was paid or not. And what I would say is that pressure by the Lagos Command, and the special team of the IGP from Abuja paid off.
“The most important thing is that kabiyesi is in his palace. As to his state of health, I was with Kabiyesi till about 12 midnight and I can tell you emphatically that he is hale and hearty and he is very strong, and nothing is wrong with him.
“As to whether the state government did something or not, if you are suspects being paraded, security agencies are apparati of government. The government has worked very hard to get Kabiyesi liberated.
“What we want to do is to thank and appreciate the understanding of the family. They have been cooperative with us to get the monarch out of the hands of his abductors .”
He vowed that the fleeing members of the gang would soon be apprehended by the security agencies. “They can run but no matter how far they run, the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them.”