An undergraduate of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Marvelous Omobobola, who was abducted by a kidnap syndicate in the state, has been released after his family members paid N200,000 ransom.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Omobobola went to school on Saturday to sign a SIWES form.
After he was done, the undergraduate boarded a tricycle to his hostel in the Odogunyan area of Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The 28-year-old said the tricycle operator was conveying him and other passengers to their destinations in Odogunyan when he suddenly veered onto a street to avoid the traffic ahead.
Omobobola said the tricycle operator was navigating the street to link the expressway when he suddenly parked beside a bus located near a bush.
He said he and other passengers were lamenting the abrupt stop beside a bush around 5pm when some armed men stepped out of the bus, pounced on them and whisked them away.
Narrating his ordeal to our correspondent, Omobobola said, “I went to school on Saturday to sign my SIWES form because we were to start exams on Monday.
“When I was done around 5pm, I boarded a tricycle from my school to my hostel in Odogunyan. There was traffic along the way so the tricycle operator diverted into a street.
“We were three at the back of the tricycle and one man sat beside the tricycle operator at the front. We asked why he left the road and he told us it was because of the traffic.
“Suddenly, the tricycle operator parked beside a bus and some men with guns pounced on us and ordered us into the bus that was parked near a bush. We met some people on the bus when we entered it.”
Omobobola said the tricycle operator left to bring more victims, adding that the kidnappers seized their phones to keep them incommunicado.
The undergraduate said, “They drove us into the bush where some people visited to price us like goats. Some people among my group were taken away into a room where they were killed and well-dressed people came with coolers for their body parts.
“When we were told to take off our clothes, one of the kidnappers saw the Celestial Church crucifix on my waist and he put me aside. He asked me what the crucifix was for and I told him I am from a celestial family.
“He then returned my phone and told me to call my people to pay a ransom for me before their leader, one Alhaji, comes. He said when their leader returns, he would not be able to help me because Alhaji procures human parts for politicians and other people. He said I would be killed if he found me there.”
Using Omobobola’s phone, the kidnappers contacted his mother, Ronke, and demanded N700,000 ransom.
Our correspondent who was with Ronke when she commenced negotiation with the suspects heard them telling her to choose between purchasing a coffin to bury her son and raising the money to secure his release.
The kidnappers later agreed to collect N200,000 and after ending the call, the aggrieved mother was seen begging people including church members for money and was able to raise N100,000.
Speaking with our correspondent, Ronke said, “I am not myself as I am speaking to you. I heard the sound of people crying on the phone and my son said the kidnappers cut two people’s throats like cows in an abattoir. I have been told to send the N100,000 into my son’s account for his release.”
Our correspondent quickly contacted the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, and he detailed the Divisional Police Officer, Odogunyan Police Station, to investigate the case.
Omobobola’s phone number was sent to the DPO who traced calls made to the number.
However, after the mother of the undergraduate paid the N100,000, the kidnappers, after using his ATM card to withdraw the money from a Point-of-Sale operator, used Omobobola’s phone number to borrow N100,000 from online credit companies.
It was learnt that the borrowed money was also withdrawn and the victim was released around 2am on Sunday.
Contacted, the Director of Information and Public Relations, Lagos State Polytechnic, Lanre Kuye, told our correspondent that the institution just got wind of the case.
He added, “We would make a case to the Lagos State Police Command to prevent future occurrences against staff and students.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, when contacted, said the command was on the matter, adding that the culprits would be arrested soon.
LASTMA Partners Other Responders to Combat Fire Outbreak at Ilupeju
Operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other emergency responders, on Saturday, combated an industrial fire outbreak at Mega Plastics Company located at No.4, Ilupeju Bypass beside Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ilupeju area of Lagos.
A statement made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP) by the Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Traffic Officer, Adebayo Taofiq, quoted the officer on ground, as Ayo Olaosebikan, as confirming that the rescue team arrived at the scene of the industrial fire outbreak around 6:30am before other emergency responders were contacted.
“Immediately we arrived at the scene of the industrial fire, we quickly informed other emergency responders particularly the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services and the Nigerian Police,” Olaosebikan was quoted as saying.
While the cause of industrial fire could not be immediately ascertained, priliminary investigation revealed that the storage and factory section of the petrochemical company were seriously affected by the fire outbreak.
Other Emergency responders on ground were the Federal/State Fire Services, Police and LASEMA Response Unit.
No injury or death was recorded as at the time of filing the report.
How We’ve Managed Insecurity in Conduct of Exams – Adesina, WAEC PRO
By Eric Elezuo
The Director, Public Affairs, National Office, West African Examination Council (WAEC), Mrs. Moyosola Adesina, has disclosed that the exam body is not in any way exempted by the after effects of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the society, stressing that it has at one time or another being a victim of the menace, but has always found a way to get free of the entanglement.
The WAEC image maker, who crowned the NAOSNP Image Maker of Year (government agencies) award, made the disclosure this while participating as a panelist at the 2023 National Security Conference of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP) held at the Civic Centre Victoria Island, Lagos, on Thursday.
Adesina harped that the issue of small arms and light weapons in the hands of non state actors is not only worrisome, but that time has come when a wholistic approach is applied to reduce the menace to the barest minimum, and possibly eliminate it completely.
She said that the examination body, which has put everything in place to ensure that exams are not disrupted and also that ease is brought in to assist in gaining access to WAEC materials and services, is bothered with the insecurity situation as sometimes, hoodlums, armed and ready to pounce, do ambush and highjack officials, equipment and materials of the exam body thereby putting a clog in the conduct of exams.
“Each time our question papers are snatched or officials attacked, it affects not only examinations in Nigeria, but the entire five member countries. It also affects the finances of the council and consumes time needed for other ventures as there will be complete re-setting of the exam questions and other matters arising. So the issue of insecurity is very challenging,” she said.
She also clarified the issue of WAEC vindictiveness, saying that the body is only interested in testing the candidate’s ability, and awards whatever one is able to score in the examination.
“WAEC doesn’t victimized anyone, but only out to conduct the exams and award scores as merited. We are not a vindictive organisation, but an organisation saddled with the responsibility of helping candidates attain their full potential through their own hard work,” she said.
While lauding the efforts of security operatives in combating crimes and criminals, Adesina also informed that that WAEC certificates are now digitalis and easy to come by as anyone can log into the site and easily download his.
“This is one of many innovations of WAEC to make life easy for all candidates, in the past, present and future,” Adesina concluded.
Performing double functions on the day, Mrs Adesina also represented the Head of National Office, Mr. Patrick Areghan, who bagged the NAOSNP Man of the Year award (Education).
WAEC is a sub-regional examination body comprising Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Cynthia Gregg Identifies Quest to Dominate As Cause of Proliferation of Small Arms
By Eric Elezuo
A security expect and Chief Executive Officer, Safety Signatures Limited, Dr. Cynthia Gregg, has identified the need for individuals to have intimidate and dominion over their fellow man as one of the reasons for the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the Nigerian Civil space, thereby resulting in insecurity and unsafe habitation.
Gregg made the observation while participating as a panelist during the panel session of the 2023 National Security Conference of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), on Thursday at the Civic Centre, Lagos.
The security practitioner noted that the issue of small arms and light weapons in the hands of non state actors, has become a major concern to all and sundry as killings abound, affecting both men in uniform and their civilian counterparts in the country today.
“We have noticed that in our society today, the person who carries the weapon is the most feared, and so because everyone wants to be feared, wants to dominate and intimidate the other person, they go to any length to acquire illegal weapons. That explains why when a robber encounters someone, the first thing they do is brandish a weapon or unleash some brutality to subdue their victim. It is the norm, unfortunately,” she said.
She further called on the public to encourage and help the law enforcement agencies to carry out their duties by saying something when they see something, and advocated community engagement to deal with challenges of proliferation of lethal weapons in the hands of non state actors.
Again, Gregg lauded the efforts of NAOSNP in using its platform to propagate safety and security through fruitful engagements with relevant institutions and reportage of credible security stories as well as advocacy through its enviable conferences.