Despite the Ogun State Police Command’s assurances that they had been collaborating with local law security outfits and communities to stop the horrifying abduction trend, the Gateway State is quickly turning into a seeming hotspot for kidnapping and missing person cases.
On Wednesday, the proprietress of Excel Group of Schools, a nursery and primary institution, Mrs Helen Odunubi, was allegedly abducted by some suspected kidnappers.
Our correspondent learnt on Friday that the incident occurred inside the school premises in the Ogunsua Crescent, Oserw Baba Odun Matogbun area of Agbado in Ogun State, at about 1 pm on Tuesday.
A source in the area told PUNCH Metro that trouble started when two women and two men drove an unregistered ash-coloured Toyota Sienna into the school premises and went straight to the school proprietress’ office.
The son of the proprietress, Ayodeji Odunubi, was said to have also told the police on Wednesday that the four people had never been seen in the area before Tuesday’s incident.
Recounting his shock to the police, the son of the 56-year-old proprietress said the suspects appeared a few minutes later with his mother and dragged her inside the said Toyota Sienna they drove into the premises with.
The son said before anyone could challenge them, they had hurriedly driven away.
As of the time of this report, on Sunday, it was learnt that the 56-year-old had neither been found nor had her abductor reached out to the family for any ransom.
Speaking about the incident, the command’s Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, said the policemen in the Agbado Division were immediately mobilised and stormed the school premises when they received the information.
She noted that the police and other local security outfits were working hand-in-glove to find out the whereabouts of the propritress and rescue her from her abductors.
“Upon the receipt of the incident, our men in the division immediately swung into action along with other security outfits to rescue the lady.
“There is already a synergy between the police, the community leaders, and other security outfits in the community. I can assure you that efforts are in top gear to know the location of the victim and arrest the suspects,” she told our correspondent on Friday.
Similarly, although the state police have yet to rule it a kidnapping case, a Thai expatriate, identified as Chotika Sabrit, has been declared missing.
The 29-year-old, an employee at the Dragon Inn Restaurant and Spa in the Makun Sagamu area of Ogun State, was declared missing after she allegedly left the company’s premises on Tuesday.
The manager of the company, Zheng Yulon, told the police on Thursday that Sabrit left the company’s premises without informing anyone.
Yulong was said to have told the police that all efforts to locate the lady had failed.
Our correspondent learnt that nearly five days after her disappearance, Sabrit’s whereabouts remained unknown, and no one had reached out to the company for any ransom as of the time this report was filed.
Odutola, who also confirmed this to our correspondent on Friday, said the 29-year-old could only speak Thai, describing her as a slim lady with long black hair.
She simply said, “We are intensifying the efforts to locate the missing lady.”
Also, PUNCH Metro reported on January 9, 2024, that a 70-year-old piggery farmer and elder with a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ijebu Igbo, headquarters of Ijebu North Local Government Area, Pa Adeife Ifelaja, was allegedly abducted on December 31, 2023.
The elderly man was believed to have been kidnapped at his residence on New Year’s Eve while preparing for a crossover service.
His alleged abductors also held him captive for nine days and demanded a N50 million ransom.
The state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, told our correspondent at the time of filing the report of the farmer’s kidnapping that “the police have been working to get the man released; we are on it even when the kidnappers have been trying to mislead us about their location, but we are on their trail, and very soon, we shall achieve success.”
Relatedly, our correspondent reported on December 4, 2023, that no fewer than six suspected hoodlums attacked a poultry farm and kidnapped three workers in Atoyo town in the Itele area of Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro reported that the hoodlums had initially kidnapped about five people found inside the farm, including the owner, and took them to a forest where the victims’ mobile phones were seized.
A few hours later, the hoodlums were said to have released the owner of the farm and one other person to go free while holding on to the three other victims.
The state police command told our correspondent at the time that two people in connection with the crime had been arrested.