Kidnapped Epe Farmers Recount Ordeal: ‘They Made Us Pray For God To Bless Their Business’

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It has emerged that the four victims of Epe farm kidnap, who were released weekend, were made to hold prayer sessions for the success of their abductors’ kidnapping business.

Also, the negotiator, whose fiancée was the only female among the victims, was told to marry her or they would kidnap her again in their next operation.

Olabiyi Ifeoluwa, the 24-year-old graduate of Nutrients and Biotechnology from Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, and the three other farmers disclosed that they lost their way and trekked for over five hours in a forest before rescue came.

The four were kidnapped at Tanda Farm in Igbodu area of Epe, Lagos, two weeks ago, by gunmen said to be clad in military fatigues. Vanguard learned that Ifeoluwa was employed at the farm two weeks before the incident.

Thereafter, their abductors contacted the owner of the farmland, demanding for N20 million ransom for their release, but it was reliably gathered that N2 million and two cartons of gin were eventually paid as ransom for their release.

Narrating their ordeal in the hands of the kidnappers, the workers disclosed that they were beaten by their captors following the delay in payment of the ransom, adding that they were only fed once a day with eba and egusi soup.

The negotiator, Ayodeji Akinyemi, who is Ifeoluwa’s fiancé, was said to have dropped the ransom at a designated point, as directed by the abductors. He was said to have also been instructed on phone, the direction he would lead the released workers through in the forest after their release.

Beatings, prayers

However, It was gathered that they missed their way and kept wandering in the forest for over five hours before they met a hunter, who took them across a river in his canoe, to a village close to Igbodu.

Ifeoluwa Olabiyi, female graduate of Nutrients and Biotechnology from the Ladoke Akintola University, LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, Oyo State.

An elated Akinyemi, who was reunited with his lover, revealed that while the negotiation was ongoing, “we would hear them beating the workers on phone. Each time the farm management and I tried to negotiate with the kidnappers, we always heard them beating the workers over the delay in ransom payment.

“They also subjected them to several prayer sessions, instructing the victims to pray for them so that police would not arrest them. They also told them to pray for their kidnap business to thrive. After the prayers, they fed them eba and egusi soup. They were fed just once a day.

“They have a place where they extract information from victims and a room where they keep women under menstruation.”

The women, as explained by the kidnappers, were kept in a secluded room so they will not pollute their charms. Vanguard also gathered that there was a shrine close to where victims were kept and that incantations were made daily for protection against security agents.

Before we strike again…

Akinyemi disclosed that the kidnappers also had a room where kidnapped babies are kept, as well as first aid box for treatment of injured victims. He revealed that one of the victims, identified simply as Jonathan, who attempted to escape, was shot in the arm.

He said: “I took the money to them and waited for about five hours in the forest before five men appeared from nowhere and threatened to kill me for coming into the forest because of a woman.

“I finally dropped the money and the two cartoons of gin they requested. They threatened to pick my girlfriend again if we don’t get married before they will strike again.

“They initially demanded for N20 million, but eventually accepted N2 million after much pleading and realising that the victims were just hired workers and not farm owners.”