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Abductors of CAC choristers demand N50 million ransom

Following the kidnap of about 25 choristers of the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, Oke-Igan, Akure, Ondo State capital at the weekend by gunmen, the Regional Superintendent of CAC, Odubanjo Regional Headquarters, Pastor Benjamin Akanmu, has revealed that the abductors are currently demanding a N50 million ransom in exchange for the victims.

According to the pastor, the abductors demanded the ransom via phone when one of the victims called to inform the church of the incident.

Over 20 of the choristers were kidnapped by the gunmen along the Owo-Ifon-Benin highway en route Ifon from Akure for a funeral event.

Hours after the incident, eight of the kidnapped victims were able to escape from their abductors, while security agencies in the State have begun a manhunt for the perpetrators towards rescuing the other victims.

While expressing faith that the kidnapped victims will be released, Pastor Akanmu stated that the choir members were on their way to Ifon in Ose Local Council when the gunmen waylaid their vehicle on Friday evening.

“They (choir) embarked on a journey to Ifon for a Christian wake in honour of our organist, who was to bury his late father in Ifon.

“They took off from Akure on Friday and were supposed to be back on Saturday after the burial.

“I was called around 4 o’clock in the evening on Friday by someone who said that a bus belonging to the church was seen abandoned by the roadside around Elegbeka, and nobody was inside at the time.

“According to the caller, he suspects the passengers have been kidnapped, and so we started contacting our members and security agencies.

“One of those in captivity called to inform me that their abductors are demanding the sum of 50 million naira as ransom.

“One of the abductors also took the phone from him and said we must provide the 50 million naira immediately if we indeed love our members.

“Nine of the victims are currently with the abductors, while eight have regained their freedom, but we cannot ascertain the whereabouts of three other members,” he said.

Meanwhile, members of CAC Oke-Igan in Akure have begun intense prayers.

During a visit to the church’s premises, the voices of the congregation were audible for anyone in the area to hear.

Pastor Akanmu said the church has strong faith in God, hence the reason for the commencement of prayers since Friday when they were abducted.

“I believe God will help the security agencies rescue the nine individuals still in captivity and apprehend the perpetrators of the criminal act,” he said.