One of the four victims of last week’s kidnapping in Ondo State has reportedly been killed by the kidnappers six days after they were held by gunmen.
The victim, identified as Taiwo Akinyemi, a lecturer at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, was reportedly killed on Sunday.
Four persons, including the deceased, were kidnapped by suspected Fulani gunmen in Amurin village along the Akure-Owo Expressway in Owo Local Government Area of the state last week Tuesday.
The three other hostages, who are members of staff of the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Owo have been freed.
The lifeless body of the 52-year-old Akinyemi was said to have been discovered in a bush tied to a tree on Sunday evening. It was gathered that the deceased was killed by the abductors for the failure of his family to pay on time the ransom demanded by the abductors.
Following the incidence, students and lecturers of the polytechnic on Monday held a march on the campus as a mark of respect for the late Akinyemi.
Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, The state governor, was also on the campus of the school to sympathise with the academic community, and described the death of the lecturer as disastrous.
Addressing newsmen on the death of Akinyemi, the Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, RUGIPO chapter, Mr Chris Olowolade, described the incident as unfortunate and sad.
He gave details that the union had entered into talks with the abductors in a bid to secure Akinyemi’s release, but “we lost him to the kidnappers and we received his corpse yesterday (Sunday).”
“The kidnappers placed a ransom of N100m on him, which nobody could afford, but they reduced it to N7m after two days, and later grudgingly asked us to come up with N500,000. He added
“The money was taken to them, and the person who took it to them was directed by the kidnappers to where he should drop the money. They asked him to stop, reverse and move, just to confirm that he was the actual person bringing the money.
“But after some hours, they called that the man bringing the money should come back that they didn’t see it; only for us to be called by the Rector yesterday (Sunday) to go and identify a corpse.
“We rushed to the morgue and discovered that it was his (Akinyemi’s) corpse. He was tied to a tree with his clothes, and his remains were left in the bush. The body was recovered by the police and deposited in the morgue; he was treated badly before he was killed.”
The State governor, while speaking to the staff and students of the Polytechnic, explained that the government and the security operatives made attempts to rescue the now deceased Akinyemi.
He stated, “It is unfortunate that the man couldn’t return home alive. The incident (kidnap) happened some five minutes after I passed through the place and I had to deploy some security men in my convoy to the place to rescue the victims.
“These kidnappers have become more daring and desperate; this is because we are moving towards the festive period; but the state police command has assured us that they will not limit their operation to stop and search only, but that they will also increase road patrol.”
Mr Femi Joseph, The state Police Public Relations Officer, who confirmed the killing of the abducted lecturer, described his death as unfortunate, adding that the other victims had regained their freedom.
Joseph said operatives of the state police command were on the trail of the kidnappers, but noted that no apprehension had been made yet.