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Abuja Monarch Freed After Ransom Payment

·        Spent 18 days in captivity

By Emmanuel OGBECHE

The family and subjects of the kidnapped chief of Bukpe community in Kwali area council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday, April 16, 2022 when he was released on Saturday at about 6pm.

The royal father, His Royal Highness Alhaji Hassan Shamidozhi was taken alongside two of his subjects by suspected terrorists on Wednesday, March 31, 2022.

Few days after the royal father’s abduction, the kidnappers demanded for a ransom of N20 million, even asking the distraught family to sell the chief’s house in order to raise the ransom.

The traditional ruler of Bukpe community in Kwali Area Council of Abuja, who spent 18 days in captivity, told Daily Trust that his other captives, Ahmad Joel and his daughter, Precious Joel, were also released, having paid a ransom of N2. 5 million.

The monarch was quoted as saying that his family members, relatives and friends contributed to raise N4 million after intense negotiations for his release.

He said immediately after the ransom was paid, the kidnappers led him and two of his subjects to a forest near Zokutu village, where they trekked for hours before appearing along Abaji-Toto road, where they boarded a vehicle home.

The Abuja Inquirer recall that during the invasion of the community’s central mosque, a sibling to the now-released traditional ruler, Malam Jibrin, was attacked and wounded.

While the monarch was with his abductors, a family member, who preferred anonymity at that time, disclosed that the kidnappers had vowed not to release him until they get N20 million.

“In fact, even on Saturday, morning, they called and directed the family to go and sell his house so that they can raise N20m ransom for them,” he said.

“One of the family members that they were communicating with told them that even house the chief is residing in is not worth N5 million,”.

According to him, the leader of the kidnappers threatened to keep the monarch in their custody even if it takes a year to raise the N20 million ransom.

Family members of Ahmed Joel, a resident who was kidnapped alongside his daughter, Precious, told our correspondent that the abductors are demanding a N3 million ransom.

Since the release, the FCT police command, was yet to speak on the development as well as the FCT administration as at the time of going to press.

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