Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The kidnapped five-year-old twins of the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, have been released six days after they were taken away by gunmen from their Akobo residence in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Daily Sun gathered that the twins were freed after the kidnappers had collected a ransom of N10 million, though they initially demanded N100 million, which they later reduced to N50 million, N20 million and N10 million.
The twins were said to have been released in Lagos on Monday evening and Oyo State commissioner of police, Mr. Abiodun Odude, reportedly gave the information on Tuesday afternoon. They have been taken to an undisclosed hospital for check-up and treatment for possible infection.
Police public relations officer in the state, Mr. Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the release of the twins, a boy and a girl, said they have been reunited with their family, adding that the police have intensified efforts in the ongoing investigation into the incident, with a view to apprehending the culprits.
Oba Balogun, in his reaction, while confirming the release of the twins, said a ransom of N10 million was paid to the kidnappers, adding that the information at his disposal showed that his children were released unhurt and he had spoken with them on phone.
He stated that his wife and mother of the children, Funmilayo, had gone to Lagos to monitor the medical check-up of the twins and bring them back to Ibadan.
In a telephone interview with the mother of the twins, she said: “To say that I was happy and I’m still happy now is an understatement. I can’t be thankful enough to God Almighty for protecting my children during the period, just as I thank everybody involved in the release.”
She explained that medical reports on the tests conducted for her children were being awaited at the time of this report, expressing optimism that they would be favourable.
The kidnappers, said to be two in number, stormed the monarch’s residence last Thursday and whisked away the children alongside their mother as they moved out of the house to go to the neighbourhood.
The kidnappers reportedly pointed a gun at the hapless mother and her children, ordered them into the vehicle, drove them round the city for a while during which the handset found on the woman was snatched, the SIM card was removed and the phone returned before the woman was pushed out of the vehicle.