Man Still Missing After Family Paid N60,000 Ransom

Man Still Missing After Family Paid N60,000 Ransom

Man Still Missing After Family Paid N60,000 Ransom
One year after his family paid N60,000 to his kidnappers, Matthew Kuye, a trailer driver at Dikon area of Kirikiri, Lagos is yet to be found.

Kuye, a married man with six children, was last seen at Jimoh Odutola Street, Surulere on January 18, 2012, where he and some of his colleagues had gone to offload containers of goods.

But that evening Kuye and his colleagues were told that their vehicles could not be offloaded. He subsequently settled his motor boy for the day and set out for home.

His son, Israel said, “That was the last time anyone saw him. My mum and siblings tried my father’s number throughout that night but his phone was switched off. I was in Ogun state at the time for my National Youth Service Corps compulsory service.

“My family eventually assumed that he was with his colleagues. But my father’s colleagues called my brother the following morning, asking for his whereabouts, only then we all realised that something was wrong.

“We made a report at the Bode Thomas Police Division immediately. A week later, my siblings began to receive telephone calls from some strangers who demanded a ransom of N80,000 if we wanted to see our father again.

“They took pains to describe my father’s appearance to my siblings and even our house at Oshodi to convince us that they knew us.

“My elder brother, Samuel, negotiated with the people and they later agreed to collect N60,000 from us.

“My brother did not involve the police in the negotiation because he feared that my father would be killed. Instead, he explained his predicament to the bank. They offered to help, but suggested contacting the police. Samuel declined.

“Eventually, he paid the money but my father was not released the next day as promised.”

A copy of the teller made available to Punch Metro showed that Samuel had paid N60,000 to a Mainstream Bank account 0032864210518 with the account name Odewuni Teslim Adewusi on Feburary 8, 2012.

Israel said after several frantic calls to the kidnappers’ phone number, which were ignored, it became clear to the family that they had no intention of releasing Kuye.

The distraught family eventually went back to Bode Thomas police division to update them on the kidnap.

From the information given by the bank, police traced the owner of the account to a residential address at Ebutte Metta. However, the police was unable to make any arrests because the account holder was said to be an infrequent visitor to the place.

Since then, the family members said they had been living on hope and prayer for the return of their breadwinner.

Israel said, “Initially, the investigative police team communicated with us regularly but that changed as time went on. They stopped answering our calls. When I completed my service in March, I went to MTN head office because the number being used by my father’s kidnappers was an MTN number. I explained my family’s challenge and asked for help in tracing the kidnappers’ location.

“I was told that such information could not be given to an individual, and that I needed the police to step in. I went back to Bode Thomas division and pleaded with them to work with MTN. The policemen there told us not to worry, saying they did not need MTN’s help. They said all they needed was in the bank teller Samuel used in paying money into the kidnappers’ account. That was in March 2012. Since then, we have been stuck. No word from the police or my father’s kidnappers.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police Ngozi Braide, said the police were still investigating Kuye’s disappearance.

She said, “Kuye was last seen at Eric Moore. We believe that some persons, who are known to the family and who want to exploit them, are responsible for Kuye’s disappearance. No kidnapper demands N60,000 as ransom. The police were able to obtain the mandate of the account through the teller used to pay the ransom.

“They traced the address that was provided in the account details and discovered the address to be fake. It was just an uncompleted building in Ebute Metta. However, the police have not lost hope and investigation is still ongoing.”

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