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|Kidnappers On The Prowl In Lagos by AloyEmeka8: 3:08am On Dec 29, 2010|
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
[size=14pt]Kidnappers on the prowl in Lagos[/size]
It was like a scene from a gangster movie. A woman and her child, who was in a uniform of a private school, were standing in front of a house at Alakuko outskirts of Lagos State.
Pupils of a primary school.
Suddenly, two young men on a motorcycle, popularly called okada rode into the area and stopped in front of the woman.
Before the woman could ask them what they wanted, the young man, who rode the okada slapped the woman, and before she could recover from the assault, the other passenger snatched the child from the woman and they zoomed off on the motorcycle. By the time the child was released, the family had cough up N500, 000 as ransom.
In Iju area of the state, another primary school pupil slept in one of the rooms in his father's hotel. By the time the father was ready to go home, the child had disappeared. For about three weeks, the family ran from pillar to post to secure his release. Even after the ransom was paid, the kidnappers did not release the child until after a few days later.
The two separate incidents are experiences of some parents in the past few weeks in Lagos.
There are at least six of such incidents that PUNCH METRO discovered between November and December. Apart from the Alakuko incident where the kidnappers collected N500, 000 ransome, investigation by PUNCH METRO showed that the kidnappers sometimes accepted what a victim's family could offer as a ransom.
The method being used by the kidnappers is to strike suddenly and the victims are usually pupils between age three and five.
That was what happened in Itire area of the state where two pupils were kidnapped on the same day. PUNCH METRO gathered that on the day, one of the pupils was abducted on the street while returning from his school; while the second one was abducted from school by a man, who pretended to be the victim's relative.
The same strategy was also used in Ikorodu area of the state. Two sets of Kidnappers visited the same school and concocted a story, which eventually made the school authorities to release two pupils to them.
Although these victims are back with their families; our correspondent discovered that , apart from the Iju incident, none of the other families reported the incident to the police.
The families also shunned enquiries from PUNCH METRO and those who talked to our correspondent insisted that their names, locations and identities of the victims should not be revealed.
The mother of the child that was kidnapped in Alakuko said that the kidnappers specifically warned the family that the matter should not be reported to either the police or press. She added that the kidnappers warned that they would not release the child if the family ignored the warning.
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