Posted by News Express | 24 January 2017 | 3,222 times
The five staff and three students of the Tulip International School, located in the Isheri area of Ogun State, who were abducted from their school premises by gunmen have been released after 11 days in captivity.
Confirming the release to Channels Television, the Assistant Inspector General of Police In charge Of Zone 2 Lagos, Kayode Aderanti, explained that the victims were released by their abductors at about 8:35PM on Tuesday through the bush path behind the school compound in Isheri, Ogun State.
A visit by Channels Television to the school compound met resistance as some members of staff denied our correspondent access.
A member of the management team who would not want to be named hinted that all the victims had regained their freedom and have been taken to the hospital for medical check-up.
One of the parents had earlier told Channels Television that ransom worth millions was paid through a negotiator and the gunmen gave the assurance that the victims would be released.
Meanwhile, some key members of the gang and their informant have been arrested by the Police.
Gunmen invaded the school, formerly known as Turkish International School, on the night of Friday, January 13 in a white pick-up van and took the students and the teachers away.
Men of the Nigeria Police and the anti-kidnapping team of the Ogun State Police Command, have since then been on the trail of the abductors.
The state government also assured parents, guardians and relatives of students and staff of the school of prompt action to ensure safe and immediate release of the kidnapped students and staff.
Barely two days after the incident, the kidnappers demanded 1.2 billion naira ransom for the victims to regain their freedom.
Channels Television gathered that the abductors reportedly called a family member of one of the victims on Sunday to make the demand.
Ray of Hope
In what seemed like a ray of hope, news emerged three days later that Police had arrested one of the three leaders of the armed gang that kidnapped the students and their teachers.
A reliable Police source confirmed to Channels Television that the suspected leader, Phillip Joel Kakadu, also known as “General Kakadu” was arrested by men of the Intelligence Response Team in Warri, Delta State where he had come to spend his loot.
Kakadu was alleged to have confessed to possessing about twenty five AK-47 rifles with five of his boys among the 16-man gang that operated in the Turkish school on Friday.
However, friends and families of the abducted had to continue hoping that the said arrest would lead to the release of their loved ones. This they had to endure for another six days.
Members of staff abducted alongside the students included three Nigerians and two Turkish nationals.
The students, two from the Junior Secondary School and the third in Senior Secondary, were said to have been part of a moral instruction class when they were taken.
According to staff of the school, the gunmen gained entrance through the back fence of the school, escaping through the swamp.
The unfortunate incident occurred on the 9th anniversary of the school.
It came barely three months after gunmen invaded Lagos Model College in Epe and kidnapped four students, a vice principal and a teacher from the school. (Channels TV)
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