How I Was Chained, Tortured In The Bush By My Abductors – Rescued Ondo Regent

For two weeks, serene Akungba Akoko in Akoko South West area of Ondo State stood still, no thanks to an abomination committed by some gun-wielding youths who abducted the regent of the community, Princes Oluwatoyin Omosowon, and three of her aides.

The regent and her aides  were abducted on their way from a public function in Akure, the Ondo state capital. She was ambushed on the Ose/ Owo Expressway and forced to alight from her vehicle and pushed
into their waiting vehicle and taken to an unknown destination.

Her vehicle, a Toyota Avensis, said to belong to Adekunle Ajasin University, which conveyed her and the aides, was later abandoned and two of her aides released, while they whisked the regent away with her driver.

  • Anger and protest

To show their anger, the people of the community staged a protest round the town, describing the incident as an abomination.

The town was thrown into confusion as markets, shops and stores remained closed, while academic activities in the university  were completely paralyzed.

Reports had it that the kidnappers a few days after the incident, requested for N20 million ransom before the regent could be released.

However, while the negotiation was on, security operatives were busy sniffing around to smoke out the kidnappers.

This, however, paid off last week when a combined team of security operatives burst the syndicate  responsible for the abduction.

Four other persons who were earlier kidnapped from different places, also breathed air of freedom as detectives stormed their hideout at Arimagija in the thick forest in Ose local government area of the state.

  • Those freed

Others freed included a corps member,  Azubuike Ijeoma, an Indian, Alex John Thekinathy, his orderly, Obute Sunday, and the regent’s driver, Aliu Abdujelili.

Speaking exclusively with South West Voice, the regent, who came back from  captivity with a bruised head, said she was tired of the throne, following the sad experience she went through in the hands of the kidnappers.

Omosowon, who became the regent in 2013,  declared:

“I am tired of the throne and I have said this several times. I want to return to my family in Lagos. I have on several occasions told the kingmakers and traditional chiefs in the town to help me out.”

On her ordeal in the hands of her abductors, the regent said she slept under a cocoa tree in the thick forest for the period of her incarceration.

  • Recounting her ordeal

She recounted her ordeal:

“They took us into the bush and we had to trek for hours before they took us to another location along Akure/Owo road in the middle of the night. They hit my head with an object and blood started gushing out asking us to lie on the floor.

We were taken to another location from there to another forest where they released my secretary and one security official and the kidnappers instructed them to go home and inform people about my abduction and brought another car which took us away from the place.

We were tortured and had to walk into a swampy place and river before getting to where we were kept and they demanded for N20 million as ransom. They told me that I have been delaying the process of selecting another king for the town and I should contact Mimiko to pay the ransom.

We were subjected to many tortures, many other victims were brought to the forest while some were either released or taken away to another place. I fasted for days praying to God to touch their heart but thank God the security operatives rescued us before they could carry out their threats.

It rained on me several days and I was drenched. I was blindfolded and only heard the voices of my abductors. We could not see their faces but their feet.

They chained my legs and arms. I prayed inside of me that l would not die by reciting the book of Psalms inside the bible.

When it was 3am, they took us inside the thick forest. I think the place is very close to a sawmill because I heard the sound of a big machine used to cut logs of wood. I became very scared. He said that I did not want the community to have another king and that am on the throne enjoying the dividends thereby depriving those who the seat is meant for.

He told me that they would spare my life if  I was able to pay what the person who sent them paid them to kill me. I pleaded with them that I did not know anything about the Obaship of the town and that if asked to abdicate the throne, I  would do so if an Oba is selected. I even told them that the Obaship matter is in court.

The second in command said I was instrumental to the delay in the filling of the vacant stool of the town. I was handcuffed all through and was with my driver. I had a terrible experience. I was maltreated for the two weeks I was detained in their den.

They gave me rice and Eba and bought drinks for me but most times, I refused their food and went into prayer and fasting.

Their gang leader showed me some respect as a regent and during my interaction with him he confessed that they went into the kidnapping business because there is no job.

I had the premonition that I will be released on Tuesday and I informed one of my abductors on Sunday and he just laughed and said it can only happen after my people had paid my ransom.  And to God be the glory I was set free on Tuesday. God is merciful and wonderful.’’

  • Corps member’s abduction

Vanguard learned that the corps member, Miss Ijeoma Azubuike, was abducted while she stood by the roadside to board a vehicle  to Lagos, after leaving the orientation camp.

Ijeoma, who graduated from Ekiti State University,  Ado Ekiti, and currently serving in Jigawa State, said she was travelling from Abuja to Lagos on May 3, which was a Sunday when she boarded a vehicle by the roadside.

“I never knew they were kidnappers. The experience was horrible. We were left in the rain. We slept on the floor. We were beaten and handcuffed.

After the driver picked me he drove some kilometers and suddenly the vehicle went into the bush and that was all I knew until I later discovered that where they took me to was their hideout. I must have been hypnotized.  On getting to their hideout, they ask me who are my parents and where they worked.

  • Calling my mother and demand for N10m ransom

“Later they called my mother and demanded for N10 million. They threatened that if the money is not paid they  will not see me again in life,’’ she said.

Also speaking when they visited the governor after they were released, an Indian, Alex John, said he had never gone through that excruciating experience in life. He said the kidnappers beat him several times when they asked him to give them the phone number of his friends who will pay the ransom.

Also, one of the suspects, Ikpen David, said he was not one of the kidnappers but the driver to the leader of the gang.

Ikpen said he was the one that dropped “Federal” at the point they were arrested, adding that  it was the head of the group that said he should carry him to Auchi and return the following day to pick him up.

“I took him from Auchi to Isan where he went to fortify himself spiritually.

The suspect said it was when he wanted to leave that night that ’Federal’ said he should sleep overnight because the road was dangerous.

Speaking on the release of the regent and others, the Director of Directorate of State Service, DSS, Mr Christian Ojobor, said all the victims, including the regent, were rescued from the kidnappers’ den at about 5am by his men and those of the Nigeria Army.

According to him, the victims were abducted  in different states, including Ondo, Rivers and Abuja, and kept in their hideout in Ondo State.