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Gunmen free Church leaders after collecting cigarettes, rice

Agency report

Two worshippers abducted last Monday by gunmen at the Celestial Church of Christ, Oshofa, Wasimi, in the Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, have been released.

The founder of the church, Oluwatomisin Olugbebi, said the victims were released on Saturday.

The gunmen had reduced their demand from N50m to N10m last Thursday.

But on Sunday, Olugbebi disclosed that the church leaders were released after a N1m ransom was paid.

He said, “They called on Saturday morning and demanded foodstuffs (rice, beans), cigarettes and gin. They said we should pay N1m for the two of them. I pleaded with them that we didn’t even have to do that, but they said they won’t accept anything less than a million.

“When we heard this, the family of the victims sat on how to get the money and they raised a total of N221, 000. Thankfully, well-wishers and other church members balanced it up.

“They did not give a specific location where we should drop the money. They asked to speak to the sister of one of the victims and told her to come to a certain location. When she got there, she called them and they told her to give the phone to the bike rider.

“They told the bike rider their location without disclosing it to her. The bike rider then took her to the location where the money and the requested foodstuffs were dropped. After like 10 minutes, they asked her to come and pick them (victims) up at the bus stop”, he was quoted to have said.

The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, confirmed the release.

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