My Two-week Ordeal In The Kidnappers’ Camp, By Akungba-Akoko Regent

imageThe abducted Regent of Akungba-Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Princess Toyin Omosowon, yesterday regained her freedom.
It was learnt that her rescue followed the intervention of a combined team of soldiers and officers of the Department of State Security (DSS), who invaded the kidnappers’ den.
Also freed were a senior official of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and the driver of the Regent, who were both abducted with her.
The 45-year-old regent and her aides were waylaid on June 3 on the Owo/Oba-Akoko/Akungba-Akoko Road on her way from Akure, where she attended a function at the Federal University of Technology.
The regent, who was driven to the Government House, Alagbaka, Akure, by security personnel, had a brief meeting with Governor Olusegun Mimiko before she moved to Akungba-Akoko.
Two of the suspected kidnappers David Ekpen (52) and Lucky Smart (35) were also seen at the Government House.
A third suspect died during the gun battle with security personnel.
Ekpen said he was a driver whose vehicle was hijacked by some culprits, who he later discovered were kidnappers.
Mimiko said the princess had gone through a terrible experience, stressing that the regent’s abduction was an unfortunate incident in the state’s history.
The governor hailed security agencies for rescuing her. He said the kidnappers would be punished in line with the existing laws of the state.
He said the state frowns at kidnapping and other crimes.
Narrating her ordeal, Princess Omosowon said she was driven to a forest in Ifon, headquarters of Ose Local Government Area.
She said she was forced to sleep in a cocoa plantation for days while she refused the foods given to her.
Her words: “When I got to the forest where they drove me to, I was told by the kidnappers that they had been paid to kill me. They told me that I prevented the people of Akungba-Akoko from having a substantive traditional ruler.
“I told them I was made regent a few years ago and I was not the one preventing the community from having a monarch, but they insisted that I would be killed,” she added.
Princess Omosowon recalled that the kidnappers demanded for N200 million after days of pleading with them.
She said: “They told me that N200 million is the price for my life and when I complained that my people cannot get the money they told me to tell them to tell Governor Mimiko.”
The regent said she was tortured and denied good food, adding that she had developed ulcer.
The Army, in a statement by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Capt O.I Adenegan, said soldiers of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, led the rescue operations.
The statement reads: “The successful rescue operation of the Regent of was led by the soldiers of 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure.
“The joint operation was conducted with officials of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) from Ondo and Edo states.
“The kidnapped victims were rescued in Ose Local Government, behind Ose Market. Other victims are the regent’s driver, Aliyu Abdulwalil, CSO Opute Sunday, a corps member, Miss Ijeoma Azubuike and an Indian, Mr Alex, who was kidnapped in Port Harcourt.
“During the operation, one of the suspects was killed and two of the other suspects Mr David and Lucky were arrested.
“This should serve as a warning to all criminals in the state, that the Brigade has zero tolerance to crime and always ready to secure lives and properties in the state.”

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