Sunday, June 20, 2021

Afaka students: How Nigerian govt released notorious kidnapper, parents paid N32m ransom

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Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Detail has emerged as to a how Nigerian government released a notorious kidnapper in exchange for the freedom of the last of batch of 27 students of Federal College of Forestry, Afaka, abducted on March 11.

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In a prisoner swap deal brokered by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, DAILY NIGERIAN learnt, the kidnapper simply identified as Nanono was transported from a detention facility in Kano, were he was being held, and handed over to a traditional ruler in Kaduna who acted as the middleman.
Parents and relatives of the victims were then left with the payment of N15m, in addition to the N17m they earlier paid for the release of the 10 of the students earlier released in two batches.

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The parents first paid N17m last month for the release of the all the victims, but the kidnappers released 10 students in two batches, insisting that amount was too small.

In view of the kidnappers’ failure to meet the obligation, the parents insisted on a middleman for the second round of negotiations.

A security source involved in the negotiation told DAILY NIGERIAN that the kidnappers demanded the release of three of their gang members in custody and payment of the N50m.

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“But after a series of negotiations and pleas, they accepted to reduce the amount and the only surviving gang member named Nanono,” said the source.

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