Nigeria: Kidnapped Ekiti Farmer Regains Freedom

Mr Olodan was found around 5.30 a.m. in the forest.

The farmer in Ekiti State who was kidnapped from his farm in Ikole Local government area has regained his freedom.

Jimoh Olodan was reportedly abandoned by his abductors on Monday after a search party comprising the police, Amotekun, and local hunters closed in on the kidnappers' hideout.

Mr Olodan was found around 5.30 a.m. in the forest.

He was kidnapped on Friday, at Elegure farmstead near Iyemero, after bandits numbering 18, stormed the community.

The bandits later called on Saturday and demanded for a N30 million ransom from the family.

A source told journalists in Ado Ekiti on Monday, that the farmer was released due to efforts by local hunters, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Oodua Peoples Congress, and Amotekun Corps .

He said N2 million was paid as an instalment, adding that the security men were able to close in on the kidnappers through a thorough combing of the sprawling forest along Ekiti, Kogi, and Kwara borders.

"The family had on Sunday paid a sum of N2 million out of the ransom requested for with a mission to continue with negotiation after getting the first tranche of the money," the source said.

"But the search team in Iyemero Ekiti who went on combing the entire forest to the borders of Ekiti with Kogi and Kwara states went deep into the forest and pursued them to the night time.

"Upon realising that the search party was closing in on them, they abandoned the man and ran away.

"We thank God that the man was released unhurt and he was in good and sound health."

'No ransom paid'

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the development, saying that the police led the search team that recovered the farmer from bandits .

"I think I told you on Saturday that the police immediately swung into action upon hearing that the farmer was kidnapped," he said.

"So, we led the search team that chased the bandits into the forest to ensure that the victim was freed."

Mr Abutu, however, said the command was not aware of the N2 million earlier paid by the family as a part payment of the ransom demanded.

Mr Abutu later issued a statement where he maintained that no ransom was paid to the kidnappers.

"We thank God that the man was released unhurt and he is in good and sound health," he said.

"The rumours that the family agreed to make instalmental payments for the balance of the N30 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers is also not true."

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