A 43-year-old trader, Mrs. Christiana Gbadamosi, who was kidnapped on June 22, 2013, in Ikorodu, Lagos State, has been released by her captors.
PUNCH Metro had reported on June 28 that the victim was kidnapped on her way to her shop and the kidnappers had demanded N25m ransom from her husband, Mufutau.
Christiana, who was released on July 4, 2013, 13 days after her abduction, told our correspondent that she initially thought she was abducted for ritual purpose.
She said, “On that fateful day, I was heading to my shop at Ayangburen Road, near Oba Palace, Ikorodu, around 8am.
“The area was quite deserted and all of a sudden, some men sprayed something into my eyes, whisked me into their vehicle and drove away. They continued to drive for hours without saying a word. So, I thought they wanted to kill me and use me for money ritual.
“After some hours, they pulled me out of the vehicle and took me into an uncompleted building. The building is built like a boy’s quarters and about three women were there to receive me. They put me into a room and locked me inside.”
She said she met two other female victims in the camp but she was not allowed to communicate with them.
Christiana said she was given bread to eat for 13 days.
She said, “On the first day I got there, I was given bread and water but I refused to eat it because I thought it had been poisoned. However, after some days, I began to eat the bread because I believed if they wanted to kill me, they could as well shoot me. They gave me bread and butter or bread and akara throughout my stay.
“I saw two other female victims there and they looked pale as if they had been there for a long time. We were not allowed to communicate because we were locked in separate rooms but in the mornings, we were allowed to bathe at the same time so I used to see them.
“Apart from the bread, they left some yellow garri and water in my room which I was allowed to take anytime. I did not drink the garri.”
The victim said the camp was run by three women who usually threatened to kill them if their families were unable to pay ransom.
Christiana said during her stay, one of the female victims was released after the family paid her ransom.
She said on some occasions, she was allowed to speak to her husband in order to remind him of the consequence of not paying the ransom.
She said, “The women told me that if my husband did not pay up, they would have no choice but to kill me because they could not continue to feed me. One day, they called my husband and they gave me the phone to talk to him. I begged the kidnappers, telling them we could not afford the ransom but they beat me up so that my husband would hear.
“They then gave my husband an ultimatum and warned him that they would kill me if he could not pay before a specified time.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that after some negotiations, the family was able to pay some money after which the victim was dumped around Ile Igbon, a community between Oyo and Osun states.
Christiana, who is recuperating at a hospital in Ikorodu, said she was thankful to God for keeping her alive.
Our correspondent, who visited the hospital, observed as members of her church, came in droves to rejoice with the family.
Christiana, who is a chorister at Redeemed Christian Church of God, Covenant of Peace Parish, said she did not suspect anyone for the crime because she was at peace with everybody.
The victim’s husband however urged the state government and the Nigeria Police to beef up security as kidnapping in Lagos State had risen significantly.
He said, “A day before my kidnap, the kidnappers had attempted to kidnap my children at my shop but they failed. However, they succeeded the following day. These kidnappers move around every day, kidnapping innocent people and putting so many families through hell.
“We need the government as well as the police to sit up. Nigeria did not used to be like this before.”
Mufutau, who refused to disclose how much was paid as ransom, said his wife’s captors were educated men because “they spoke Queens English.”