Some residents of Lagos State have raised the alarm over the spike in cases of kidnappings in the state in recent times. This happened just days after Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos state celebrated what he termed the absence of wanton crime and kidnapping in the state for the past four years.
SIXT-MEDIA LANE learnt that the incidents had largely been recorded on the Mainland, particularly in the Alimosho and Amuwo Odofin Local Government Areas of the state.
It was also gathered that wealthy people were the soft targets for the abductors who demanded huge ransoms.
Checks by our correspondent on Thursday also revealed that the significant rise in the trend became noticeable in the areas around August.
The most recent, however, is the abduction of a car dealer popularly known as Ejike Conversion in the Ladipo Spare Parts Market on Saturday night.
Ejike was said to have been taking an inventory of his newly imported goods in front of his plaza around 12 am when some armed men swooped in on him and his workers.
While his workers fled for safety following the sound of gunshots, Ejike was not so lucky as the armed men attacked him, dragged him into their vehicle and drove off.
A trader and member of the Board of Trustees of the market, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the abduction on Thursday while noting that the development caught many traders in the market unawares.
“Yes, Ejike was kidnapped in the market on Saturday night. It is a surprise to many because it happened late in the night when almost every trader in the market had gone home at the end of business. The market closes daily at 6pm. He was abducted at his warehouse when he was taking delivery of his goods delivered from China very late in the night,” he said.
A source in the market who also spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, on Thursday, disclosed that the abductors had opened communication with the family as they demanded N500m.
The source said the family had since been negotiating for the reduction of the amount but they were yet to reach an agreement with the kidnappers.
“Ejike is still with the kidnappers. They are demanding N500m and the amount is too much. The family has been negotiating with them but they did not reduce the amount. They insisted on collecting the amount. He was kidnapped around 12 am in his office. The police had also been informed,” the source revealed.
In a similar development, a yet-to-be-identified businessman was allegedly kidnapped earlier this month in the Ago Palace area of the state while the kidnappers demanded a sum of N500m.
A project architect, Daario Naharis, while narrating his experience on Wednesday via his X handle (formerly Twitter), said he was almost abducted in the area in November where the abductors blocked his vehicle while in motion.
He wrote, “I had this experience firsthand last month in this same Ago. I was coming home around 12 am when some guys with 2.4 Camry blocked me on motion. I bashed into their back bumper, alighted immediately considering the way they drove and bolted away seeing four doors opening at instant.
“My saving grace was that I was riding on a heavier vehicle as the impact devastated them. Before they could reconcile it, I made a decision in a nanosecond and crossed to the other road. If they were just robbers, they would have ransacked or taken the vehicle along.
“I have never had the courage to speak about my experience that day except seeing this tweet, never knew what came into me to go into them with such speed which turned out to have saved me in that situation. Those guys were properly armed and casual.”
In what appeared like a syndicate, a group of unidentified armed men were said to have kidnapped the owner of a popular hotel located at Grandmate bus stop in the Ijegun area of the state in October. His family reportedly paid about N100m as ransom before he was later released.
Similar cases were recorded on Governors Road in Ikotun, Gowon Estate in Egbeda and other locations in the Alimosho Local Government Area as the victims were made to part with huge ransoms before they were released.
SIXT-MEDIA LANE had reported that a 13-year-old girl, Miracle Adereti, was kidnapped by an unknown gang in the Ikotun area of Lagos State on December 1 on her way home from school.
The father, Segun Adereti, while lamenting the abduction of his daughter, said, “We had no inkling of such a wicked act by this gang, who falsely claimed that, as a politician, I have sufficient funds to secure my daughter’s release.”
“We’ve received threats warning us not to involve the police. But as a family, we are deeply distressed and have no choice but to seek help from law enforcement agencies,” he added.
A source within the police told our correspondent that only a few cases of kidnapping in the state were reported at the police station because of the threats by the abductors.
When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, promised to confirm and get back to our correspondent. He had yet to do so as of the time this report was filed.