Two abducted Nigerian footballers freed

Dayo Ojo, football player with Enyimba
Dayo Ojo, football player with Enyimba

A member of the Super Eagles B team to the last African Nations Championships (CHAN) in Morocco, Dayo Ojo, has regained his freedom from the den of kidnappers.

Ojo who plays his club football with Nigeria Professional Football League side, Enyimba, was abducted last Sunday at Ipele, along Benin –Akure road.

He was on his way to Akure alongside another footballer, Benjamin Iluyomade of Abia Comets, when they were kidnapped.

Both footballers have now been freed.

The duo according to reports were on their way to Lagos after their teams went on vacation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the abductors contacted relatives of the players, demanding N20 million as ransom before they would be released.

However, late Wednesday night, Enyimba on their Twitter handle confirmed that Ojo has regained his freedom.

The club wrote: GREAT BIG NEWS! Our midfielder man, Dayo Ojo has regained freedom from his kidnappers

Sources close the families of the players said the kidnappers had earlier demanded N100 million when they first called on Sunday.

The kidnappers later reduced it to N20 million after a plea from the families.

It is not clear for now if indeed any monies were paid to secure the release of Ojo as the short statement released by Enyimba just before midnight did not indicate such.

The Enyimba statement reads: “Enyimba midfielder Ekundayo Ojo and Abia Comets’ Benjamin Iluyomade, who were kidnapped on Sunday have regained their freedom.

“The footballers were released on Wednesday night following combined efforts of Enyimba Football Club and families of the players.

“It would be recalled that the footballers were kidnapped along the Benin-Owo expressway as they journeyed to Akure following the suspension of the Nigeria Professional Football League amid concerns over the global pandemic, Covid-19.

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“The players have since reunited with their families.”

The Ondo State Police Command who had confirmed the kidnapping of the players had assured “that machinery will be deployed to trail the kidnappers”.

Police Public Relations Officer, Tee-Leo Ikoro, had said the police “would not go to sleep until these footballers are rescued.”

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