One of the four victims of last week’s kidnapping in Ondo State has reportedly been killed by the abductors, a lecturer six days after they were seized by gunmen.
The victim, a lecturer at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, identified as Taiwo Akinyemi, reportedly died on Sunday.
Four persons, including the deceased, were kidnapped by suspected Fulani gunmen in Amurin village on the Akure-Owo Expressway in Owo Local Government Area of the state last Tuesday.
The three other victims, who are members of staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Owo have been released.
The corpse of the 52-year-old Akinyemi was said to have been found in a bush tied to a tree on Sunday evening. It was learnt that the deceased was killed by the abductors for the inability of his family to pay on time the ransom demanded by the abductors.
Following the development, lecturers and students of the polytechnic on Monday held a procession on the campus as a mark of respect for the late Akinyemi.
The state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, was also on the campus of the school to commiserate with the academic community, and described the death of the lecturer as unfortunate.
Addressing journalists on the death of Akinyemi, the Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, RUGIPO chapter, Mr Chris Olowolade, described the incident as sad and unfortunate.
He explained that the union had entered into negotiation with the kidnappers in order to secure Akinyem’s release, but “we lost him to the kidnappers and we received his corpse yesterday (Sunday).”
He added, “The kidnappers placed a ransom of N100m on him, which nobody could afford, but they reduced it to N7m after two days, and later grudgingly asked us to come up with N500,000.
“The money was taken to them, and the person who took it to them was directed by the kidnappers to where he should drop the money. They asked him to stop, reverse and move, just to confirm that he was the actual person bringing the money.
“But after some hours, they called that the man bringing the money should come back that they didn’t see it; only for us to be called by the Rector yesterday (Sunday) to go and identify a corpse.
“We rushed to the morgue and discovered that it was his (Akinyemi’s) corpse. He was tied to a tree with his clothes, and his remains were left in the bush. The body was recovered by the police and deposited in the morgue; he was treated badly before he was killed.”
The governor, while speaking to the staff and students of the institution, explained that the state government and the security operatives made attempts to rescue the deceased
He said, “It is unfortunate that the man couldn’t return home alive. The incident (kidnap) happened some five minutes after I passed through the place and I had to deploy some security men in my convoy to the place to rescue the victims.
“These kidnappers have become more daring and desperate; this is because we are moving towards the festive period; but the state police command has assured us that they will not limit their operation to stop and search only, but that they will also increase road patrol.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Femi Joseph, who confirmed the killing of the kidnapped lecturer, described his death as unfortunate, adding that all the other victims had regained their freedom.
Joseph said men of the state police command were on the trail of the kidnappers, but noted that no arrest had been made yet.