17th May, 2013
A Nigerian businessman, Ayodele Olaoye, on Friday told a Lagos High Court that he did not plot and execute his own kidnap, to extort his parents.
Olaoye made the denial while testifying at the trial of seven persons accused of kidnapping him before Justice Olabisi Akinlade of an Ikeja High Court.
The accused are: Esther Phillips, 23; Patricia Nna, 26; Kingsley Okonwa, 24; Osita Adigwe, 35; Uzochukwu Ezioha, 25; Jude Sunday, 36; and Michael Olarenwaju, 31.
The accused, including two women, were arraigned on March 5.
They are facing a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, armed robbery and kidnapping.
They, however, pleaded not guilty and were remanded in prison custody.
Olaoye had on Thursday told the court how Phillips, who he described as “a friend”, conspired with the others to kidnap him on April 22, 2012 in Lagos.
He claimed that the kidnappers collected a N5 million ransom from his parents before he managed to escape from their hideout on the fourth day.
Speaking under cross-examination on Friday by counsel to the accused, Mr Abali Abali and Mr F.C. Mbagwu, Olaoye insisted that he had no hand in the kidnapping.
The witness said he trusted the first accused (Phillips) whom he claimed to have met at Pegas Club in Opebi, Ikeja in February 2012.
Olaoye, who denied that Esther was his girlfriend, however, admitted that they had an amorous relationship.
“On the day that I was kidnapped, the third accused (Okonwa) took my phone and called my mother demanding 400,000 dollars.
“He also called my father and told them that I was in his cage.
“My parents were out of the country on that day but my father, Mr Segun Olaoye, returned two days later and paid some money to them.’’
The witness further told the court that he was beaten by the accused, in order to convince his parents to pay the ransom.
Olaoye said it was while they were sharing the money that he was able to sneak outside from where he was held.
The case had been adjourned till June 7, for continuation of trial.