All the kidnap victims on-board a Toyota Hiace bus belonging to a popular transport company in Edo State, have been released.
Similarly, chairman of the Esan Central Local Government Council in Edo state, Professor Waziri Edokpa, has been released.
Also not left out is Miss Oghogho Christiana, the 400level medical student of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, who N7m ransom was earlier demanded for her release.
Igbere TV recalls that all the victims were kidnapped along the Benin – Ekpoma Expressway, which has, in recent time, become a ‘safe haven’ for kidnappers.
Although the kidnapping occurred separate hours, early Friday, it was gathered that the same set of armed bandits took them away into the thick bush.
Details of their release are still sketchy, Igbere TV, however, gathered that the transport company paid a whopping sum of N9 million ransom to secure the release of all victims.
The Abuja-bound passengers, said to be 14 in numbers, were taken earlier before the council boss and AAU student were abducted separately by same sect.
The N9 million ransom was said to have, however, covered the entire kidnap victims who were released Friday night with the driver of the bus shot dead earlier.
A staff of the transport company privy to the arrangement, who craved anonymity due to sensitivity of the matter, confirmed the development.
The staff said, “we had to make all necessary arrangements because they (the kidnappers) said we have until Friday night to do the needful.”
The source was however silent on the method of delivery of the cash, or how much was first demanded. Another official confirmed the killing of the bus driver.
The public relations officer of the Edo state police command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be immediately reached for comment.
However, a relative of the kidnapped AAU student confirmed the victim had been released. “We so much thank God and remain grateful to [name withheld] – the transport company”, the relative said.
Students Union officials and course mates of the student have since taken to social media to celebrate the release of Miss Christiana.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has re-emphasized the existing 10pm to 6am curfew in the state to checkmate the rising level of insecurity in Edo.
This was as the governor urged security agencies in the state to check the activities of hoodlums and criminals following the hijack of the #EndSARS protests in the state.
Obaseki spoke on Friday when he received the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Anthony Bamidele Omozoje, at the Government House, in Benin City.
Igbere TV reports that the visit was to inform the governor on plans by the military to embark on a seven-day heightened security operation to fish out criminal elements in the state.