April 14, 2024

An eight-man gang of kidnappers reportedly invaded Lutfulahi mosque, abducting Alhaji Murithador Sadullahi Akanho Olamide, the Imam of Muhadul-iftai-wa-sadah Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, along with businessman Engr. Olayemi Arasi, CEO of Hollarams Technical Services Ltd in Lufuape along Sagamu Interchange in Ogun State.

It was gathered that the kidnappers targeted the mosque during Friday night prayers, forcibly taking the cleric and the businessman to an undisclosed location.

The victims spent three days in captivity before regaining freedom on Monday, following the alleged payment of a ransom by their families.

Sources close to the situation noted that the kidnappers were suspected foreigners, the initial target, they said was the cleric but seized the opportunity to abduct the businessman.

There are indications that local individuals may have contracted the kidnappers for business-related motives, sources said.

The source involved in the ransom payment process revealed that a substantial amount was paid to secure the release of both the cleric and businessman.

Recently, kidnapping incidents have repeatedly become frequent in the area, which houses several industries, raising concerns among investors about their safety.

The source stated the need for the government to urgent take decisive action to prevent further incidents, fearing that investors may flee the state due to the prevalent kidnapping threat.

Interestingly, the same location where a businesswoman was previously kidnapped became the site where the two recent victims were abducted.

Also the ransom exchange point for this incident mirrored the spot where previous victims were freed.

Omolola Odutola, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the kidnapping incident.

She stated that the victims were abducted on December 22 during the Ishahi prayer at Lutfulahi mosque, and they were released three days later.

While confirming the police’s unawareness of ransom details, she assured the public of ongoing efforts to track down the kidnappers.

Odutola emphasised the police’s commitment to addressing such criminal activities and urged collaboration to ensure the safety of citizens.

She stated, “The kidnapping occurred on December 22. According to the report, the Imam of Lutfulahi mosque, Alhaji Murithador Sadullahi Akanho Olamide, was abducted at approximately 19:45 (7:45 pm).”

“A cleric reported the abduction of two individuals during the Ishahi prayer in the mosque.

“He revealed that suddenly, an eight-man gang of kidnappers, armed with assorted rifles, invaded the mosque and abducted the two victims, taking them to an unknown destination.”

“On December 25, they were released. We received a follow-up signal confirming their release at about 17:00 hours (5:00 pm) on Monday.

“I cannot confirm whether any ransom was paid, as police officers do not concern ourselves with ransom payments. Our joy lies in the release of the victims.

“In response to the question of whether the command is aware and taking action to apprehend the perpetrators, yes, the command is aware, and no CP would tolerate such incidents.

“We are always prepared to track down kidnappers, and we have been consistently doing so.

“When discussing individuals from Niger and Fulani, the police do not make discriminatory statements. Our primary concern is apprehending those responsible for criminal acts.” (The Guardian, except for rejigged headline)

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