Kidnappers lay siege to Festac, Satellite town & Amuwo Odofin, Lagos; demand ransom in dollars..
Gunmen numbering five Thursday night, abducted business mogul, Francis Umeh, in Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos in continuation of the kidnapping spree that has become common in the area particularly Festac and Satellite town.
As at 2pm on Friday, it was learnt that the abductors were yet to make contact with family members of the abducted man.
The abduction of Umeh was said to have occurred barely two weeks after another business man, Cosmos Ojukwu was abducted in Festac Town, in same local government.
Umeh who is an auto parts dealer at Aspanda, Trade fair, along Mile Two-Badagry express-way, was returning home when the gun wielding men said to be clad in military camouflage reportedly intercepted Umeh’s vehicle in front of Mobile filling station opposite his house.
They ordered him out of his car, threatening to shoot him if he acted otherwise. Thereafter, they dragged him into their operational vehicle and zoomed off to an unknown destination, shooting sporadically.
Umeh’s wife was said to have reported the incident at the Area ‘E’ command in Festac when news of her husband’s abduction reached her.
The abduction of Umeh’s comes two weeks after another businessman; Ojukwu was kidnapped in Festac Town. It was gathered that Ojukwu’s abductors demanded for $2m ransom, out of which members of his family, through the contribution of friends and relatives reportedly paid $1m after much plea.
But as at yesterday, it was gathered that Ojukwu’s abductors were yet to release him as they insisted that additional $1 be paid.
Family sources said “We had to borrow to pay one million dollars. But rather than release him, they demanded of additional one million dollars. They said that the additional payment was because we were rude to them. We have been begging them to release our bread winner to us. We have gone round but nobody is willing to raise money again, as everyone is complaining of financial hardship”.
Recall that Chairman of Comestar Manufacturing Company, Sir James Uzochukwu Uduji was kidnapped by gunmen at 7th Avenue in Festac town, after which they demanded $1 million for his release, last September.
His family as gathered raised N100 million but his abductors insisted on the demanded ransom. Unconfirmed report had it that N220 million equivalents of one million dollars was eventually paid before he was released.
Also, recall that in same Amuwo Odofin, wife of a senior journalist was abducted in her home last year. She was said to have been released after an unspecified amount was paid as ransom.
Again, family members of another business man also kidnapped last year were compelled to pay N110 million for the release of their breadwinner.
Sources have disclosed that a cartel in the area was responsible for the abductions saying it is worrisome that the police had not swung into action, compelling residents not only to lose confidence in them but also to allege complicity.
The worrisome development has sent fear down the spines of residents of the area as it was learnt some of them are complementing relocating.
Some policemen who spoke on condition of anonymity hinted that Umeh’s kidnap was not reflected in the Police crime diary. It was also discovered that some of the kidnap cases were never reported at the station, following strict adherence to the kidnapper’s directive to the affected families.
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