NTA journalist’s family paid N1 million to secure her freedom

Olubunmi Oke, a female journalist with NTA, spent three days in the hands of kidnappers.

The family of Olubunmi Oke, a female journalist working with the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Akure, the Ondo State capital, paid N1 million to her abductors before they let her go, PREMIUM TIMES has been informed.

Mrs. Oke was kidnapped on Thursday after closing from work at Oba-Ile area of Akure, the state capital. She spent three dreary days with her abductors.

Mrs. Oke’s abductors dropped her along the Benin-Ore Expressway at about 11p.m. on Saturday.

Mrs. Oke, a nursing mother, has since re-united with her banker husband and her six month old baby girl.

Although she has been instructed not to speak about her ordeal in the last three days, PREMIUM TIMES gathered that she was driven to one of the Niger Delta states. Her abductors hid her in a thick forest in the creeks.

A source, Mrs. Oke’s friend, said the victim was not physically abused as the kidnappers took pity on her because she is nursing a child.

The kidnappers initially demanded N30 million as ransom, then, reduced it to N6million.

They finally settled for N1million after the family pleaded that her baby had not been breastfed for three days.

During the negotiation, PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the kidnappers heard the cry of the baby and were moved.

The abductors, according to investigation, asked the journalist’s husband to bring the ransom to Owo area of Ondo State.

When he got there, he was asked to return to Akure and then back to Owo where the ransom was allegedly paid around 10 p.m.

Thirty minutes later, the abductors called Mrs. Oke’s husband and asked him to go to Ore, another part of Ondo State, where he found his wife.

Mr. Oke went along with some security officials and found his wife who told him that she was dropped in the bush and found her way to the expressway with the help of a truck driver.

Police spokesperson, Wole Ogodo, confirmed the release of the journalist but said no arrest has been made.

Mr. Ogodo said he is not aware that any ransom was paid by the journalist’s family.

He said the police are on the trail of the kidnapers and would soon apprehend them.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ondo State Chapter, has called on the state government and security agencies to step up the protection of its citizenry against criminals.

The NUJ in a statement issued by its Secretary, Ebenezer Adeniyan, urged security agencies to beef up security in the state and arrest those behind the abduction.

Mr. Adeniyan noted the kidnap saga must not be allowed to go without proper investigation.

He said, “We use this medium to call on the government and security agencies to step up protection of Nigerians against criminals.

“This issue must not be allowed to go down like that without proper investigation. Those behind the abduction should not be allowed to go unpunished”

Mr. Adeniyan commended all those who played one role or the other in securing her release from the den of kidnappers.

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