Ogun Varsity Lecturer Freed, Family Pays Kidnappers N10m


Respite has come the way of Dr. (Mrs) Ruqayyat Olusola Otulana of the Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, Sagamu campus of Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, who was freed last night after the family paid N10 million as ransom to her kidnappers.

Dr Otulana was kidnapped last week Friday at Agbowa in Agbowa-Ikosi Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, around 6.30pm while returning from Ikorodu where she had gone to carry out an eye surgery for a patient.

Speaking with our correspondent this morning, the victim’s husband, Dr. Abiodun Otulana of Aje Medical Centre, Ijebu-Ode, said the abductors threatened to kill his wife if he failed to pay the ransom.

According to him, “the kidnappers are very wicked. They called threatening that I should bring the money they demanded. All my plea to them fell on deaf ears and when they said they would kill my wife if I did not bring the money before the week runs out. I had to move out and source for the money.”

On how he gave the money to the kidnappers, the medical doctor recounted the drama the abductors played with him before the money was collected at gun point. “They called me to bring the money and meet them at the Lagos motor park in Ijebu-Ode. They advised me not to play any trick with them,or else they will waste the woman. They ordered me to come on a bike alone. When I got to Lagos motor park with the money, I called their number and they inquired about the type of clothes I wore. After describing it to them, they said they were looking at me and directed me to move towards the expressway.

“When I got to the express, they called again that I should move down towards Ikorodu Road through Ala, Idowa, Ibefun and Itoikin way. To cut the long story short, I found myself in Ikorodu. They later called and asked me to turn back to Ijebu-Ode which I did. When I got to Ala, they stopped me. All this was happening without me seeing any of them, but they were seeing and monitoring me to know if someone was following me. They asked me to go towards Itoikin and when I got to a place between Imodi Ijasi and Itoikin, they ordered me to park there and someone came out of a nearby bush and pointed a gun at me.”

Otulana added: ”The boy collected the money and my phone from me and asked me to turn back towards Ijebu-Ode. He said we should go to Idowa junction later in the day to pick my wife. We were in the area from around 8.30 p.m. and when it was about 11p.m., I saw my wife coming out of the bush looking tattered and weak. Without wasting time, we took her and headed for Ijebu-Ode.”

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A family source told our correspondent that the man had to source for loan from many people to rescue his wife from the abductors who had earlier demanded N50 million, but after pleas by the man, the kidnappers shifted ground on their demand.

The source further disclosed that “the money paid to the kidnappers was almost N10 million because we all know how the man raised the cash.

It was gathered that the woman was maltreated by her abductors as she complained of serious aches all over her body.

A family member quoted the woman as saying: “The abductors were very wicked. They always beat me and hit my head with gun butt several times. I can’t talk much for now. The experience in the hands of those people is unpalatable. I’m not feeling alright now, I need to take good care of myself. I thank everybody who joined my family members in searching for me, including my colleagues whom I was told staged a peaceful protest in Abeokuta yesterday for my freedom. May the good Lord be with you all,” said the woman who was visibly in pains.

Members of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA,Ogun State chapter yesterday staged a street protest, demanding the release of their colleague.

Speaking with our correspondent this morning, the NMA Chairman in the state, Dr. Adewunmi Alayaki, called on the government to provide security for the people of the state. He said this was the fourth case of kidnapping in the area this year. As at the time of filing this report, family members, colleagues and friends besieged the residence of the Otulanas on Degun Street, Ijebu Ode to rejoice with the family while the woman is receiving treatment at the hospital.

—Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta