One of the parents of four freed pupils of the Lagos Junior Model College, Igbonla, Epe, Lagos State, has said the victims were brought back by the kidnappers to a bush behind the school, not far from where they were abducted six days ago.
The parent, who pleaded that his identity be protected, told Punch Metro on Wednesday that the kidnappers brought the schoolboys, the teacher and the Vice-Principal to the area that they had passed through to invade the school on Thursday, October 6.
Our correspondents learnt that some people in the school, who sighted the victims around 10.30pm, thereafter put calls across to their relations to announce their release.
The kidnappers had last Friday, at about 8am, stormed the school premises while the junior school was rounding off the morning prayers and shot sporadically into the air.
During the invasion, four pupils – Okonkwo Emmanuel, Isaac Adebisi, Abu and Jeremiah – were abducted while the English Language/Civic Education teacher, Lukman Oyerinde, and the Vice Principal, A.O. Oyesola, were also taken away by force.
Our correspondents had reported the various stages of negotiation of ransoms between the attackers and the victims’ families, which was finally put at N1m ransom for each victim.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the victims were hidden in a creek in the Epe area, which was said to be about four hours’ sailing from the school.
It was gathered that the schoolboys, the teacher, and the VP were dropped off on Tuesday evening.
The parent, who lived in the Ikorodu area, told our correspondent that he had relocated to a friend’s place in the Epe area since his child was kidnapped, adding that he did not pay any ransom.
He said, “I was called on the telephone by someone from the school around 12am on Wednesday that my son and other victims had been released. Since he was kidnapped, my wife and I had relocated from our house in Ikorodu to a friend’s place in Epe.
“When I rushed down to the school, I saw my son alive. We were told by the authorities that the boys walked into the school premises. They were left by the kidnappers around the boys’ hostel. We are grateful to God for sparing their lives.
“I did not pay any ransom. I do not know if other parents did. God knows I do not have any money to pay ransom.”
The parent of the schoolboy, who was reported to have paid N1m for his child who fell ill in the kidnappers’ den, said, “I went through hell to raise the money. The kidnappers, after playing pranks with us for two days, left them not far from the school. I advise the state government to increase security in schools near waterways