One of the kidnappers of the Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Kehinde Bamigbetan, jumped to his death at a hotel along Old Ojo road, Agboju, Lagos.
Although Bamigbetan was set free by his abductors on Saturday night, five days after he was kidnapped, it was learnt that police pressure could be part of the reasons he was released.
The LCDA boss returned to his house at about 10.45pm, an hour after he was released by his abductors on Saturday.
But our correspondent gathered that the police had been on the trail of the suspects and had actually made some arrests.
They were about to arrest one of the perpetrators, known as ‘Onye Army’ when he (Army) killed himself
It was learnt that operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja tracked Army to the hotel, and in order to evade being caught, he jumped from the balcony of his room on the second floor of the building.
PUNCH Metro learnt that one of the suspects arrested by SARS following Bamigbetan’s kidnap gave the police the information on Army and how to track him.
A police source said, “Onye Army was actually in the hotel with some members of the kidnapping gang.
“However, by the time SARS operatives got there, other members of his group had cleared out leaving just Onye Army’
“While some of the SARS operatives went up to his room and knocked on the door, some waited by the entrance of the hotel. It seems, however, that Onye Army had sighted them through his window because he refused to open up the door. When they started to force the door open, he came out on the balcony, hoping to jump down safely and make his escape.
“Unfortunately, it was a fatal fall. Onye Army broke both legs and his spine; he was in serious pains. Despite all attempts to keep him alive and lead the SARS operatives to the hideout where his colleagues were keeping Bamigbetan, he died while being rushed to the hospital.”
The source said Bamigbetan was set free after the kidnappers discovered that some of their members were being rounded up by SARS.
A family friend of the Bamigbetans told PUNCH Metro on the condition of anonymity that a ransom of N15m was paid to secure his release.
He said, “After the family paid the N15m, the kidnappers reneged on the agreement and demanded another N10m.
“But to our surprise, they suddenly released Bamigbetan on Saturday.”
The Lagos State Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Damasus Ozoani, said, “I can confirm that Bamigbetan has been released.
“As for any ransom being paid, I am not aware of that.
JD:It is heartwarming that Kehinde has finally been released and also that the police were able to trail his kidnappers and would hopefully have all the members of the gang in the net.Perhaps it is now time for us to reflect on what has brought us to this current state of affairs.We need to address the fundamentals here,poverty,bad governance,and general instability in the country.We need to address unemployment,youth restlessness etc to tackle incidents like this.Even though one admits all this cannot be done in a day let us at least start from somewhere.But saying this is like pouring water on the back of a duck.our leaders just wont hear!