A Chinese engineer kidnapped in Ekiti State has been freed, allegedly after the payment of ransom.
His freedom was confirmed on the day a team of security personnel in neighbouring Ondo State arrested suspects allegedly involved in the murder of Israel Adeusi, the traditional ruler of Ifon in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The identities of the suspects were not made public because, according to officials, the investigation into the killing was still ongoing.
They were reportedly arrested at Elegbaka forest, where the attack took place.
Mr Adelusi was killed last Thursday by suspected kidnappers as he was heading to Ifon from Akure, after a meeting of traditional rulers.
The commander of the Ondo Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun Corps, Adetunji Adeleye, revealed the capture of the suspects on Wednesday while speaking to journalists in Akure.
He said four kidnapped victims were rescued during the operation to arrest the monarch’s killers.
Mr Adeleye said the arrested suspects were currently undergoing interrogation.
He, however, debunked insinuations that his officials were not manning the forests in the state, adding that his officials were well-positioned to deal with current situations of insecurity.
He also said surveillance has been mounted at the farm of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae, to prevent further attack on the farm by suspected herdsmen.
He said the herdsmen have fled the area.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Falae petitioned the Amotekun Corps last week after herdsmen attacked his farm and sacked his farm staff. He complained that his crops were also destroyed by the herders.
Mr Adeleye said the corps launched “Operation Clean Up” on Tuesday, which led to the arrest of over 20 suspects from various black spots in Akure and environs.
He said some of the suspects were caught in the act of committing robberies.
The Amotekun boss explained that the Operation Clean Up was meant to take the war to the criminals in their various hideouts in the city or the forest.
“In the past few weeks, Ondo State witnessed an increase in kidnappings, armed robbery and men of the Amotekun Corps went into action in collaboration with other security agencies,” he said.
“We observed a downward trend after the ban of okada at night, so we had to change tactics. That was why we launched the Operation Clean Up, which is an intense patrol across the nooks and crannies of Akure and other parts of the state.
“The idea is to take the war to the kidnappers, criminals or wherever they are hiding and we have recorded huge success. Amotekun operates in the bush, forest, water and anywhere.”
On the arrest of some cows, Mr Adeleye said the cows were caught destroying a farm and the herders fled.
He said the cows would not be released until the owners reached an amicable agreement with the farmers, whose crops were destroyed.
Chinese Engineer Freed
The Chinese engineer abducted in Ekiti State last week was freed late on Tuesday, sources told this newspaper.
There were indications that the expatriate paid about N10 million before he was released.
Although the police in Ekiti denied any knowledge of the payment of the sum, a source close to the construction company where the Chinese works, confirmed that the amount was paid before he was released.
The engineer was involved in the construction of the new Ado-Iyin Road.
He was kidnapped on Friday by gunmen, who also killed a policeman and injured another in the course of the kidnap.
The source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak for the company, also revealed that the ransom was collected at a place in Kwara State, while the expatriate was released around Ilawe-Igede road in Ekiti State.
“The Chinese (engineer) was released very late yesterday (Tuesday) after payment of ransom to the kidnappers,” the source said.
“The N100 million was taken to a bush in Kwara State where the kidnappers collected and confirmed it before the man was released here at a very difficult location along Igede-Ilawe road.”
But when contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ekiti State, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the release of the Chinese expatriate but denied any payment of ransom.
Confirming the release of the Chinese engineer, Mr Abutu, said the rescue was made possible after a serious manhunt launched on the kidnappers by security operatives.
“Yes, he was released after a serious manhunt and pressure from the security operatives around Ilawe-Igede at about 11:30 .p.m. yesterday (Tuesday),” he said.
He assured residents that the command would continue to do everything possible to ward off all criminal elements from the state and ensure maximum security of lives and property.
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