After Pocketing N9m Ransom, Terrorists Release Kidnapped Victims in Niger

Three kidnapped victims in Niger State regained their freedom at the weekend after collectively paying a N9 million ransom.

The victims, a 34-year-old furniture maker, a 40-year-old civil servant, and a 28-year-old hairdresser, were kidnapped at about 1:00 am on Sunday, July 16 at Kuchikon Ijah, in Tafa Local Government Area of the state.

Kuchikon Ijah is an agrarian community bordering Bwari Area Council, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Residents said gunmen numbering about 10 stormed the sleepy community on a fateful night and took the victims from their various homes.

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Neighbours, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the gunmen overpowered the local guards protecting the area before kidnapping Timothy Innocent, Samuel Alabi and Sarah Ibitayo, respectively.

“The case was reported at the Sabon Wuse Police Station and an officer came around in the morning. After making an enquiry about how the incident happened, he assured us that they would do everything within their means to rescue them”, a resident said.

Three days after, the kidnappers contacted family members of the victims and demanded N30 million in ransom — N10 million for each.

“After going back and forth with the negotiation, we settled at N3 million on each of them,” the resident further disclosed, adding N9 million was later paid with an additional N50,000 MTN recharge cards.

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The victims have since been reunited with their family members. This development is indicative of a resurgence of kidnapping activities in the area. Last November, the community witnessed similar incidents, when three people were kidnapped and were released after payment of ransom.

Residents are appealing to the state government to come to their aid by ensuring the safety of the area. Recall that kidnappings, banditry and other forms of criminal activities are becoming the order of the day in the state, making the appeal imperative before a total breakdown of law and order in the state.


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