A group of four farmers abducted from a farm settlement at Ikosu Ekiti in the Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State have been freed after reportedly a ransom of N2 million.
The farmers were abducted on Monday and spent four days in captivity before they regained their freedom on Friday.
It was learnt that the abductors initially demanded N50 million from the authorities of the farm settlement before setting the farmers free.
But sources said the farmers were released on Friday evening after the abductors received some form of payment.
“I can tell you that they have been released. They are back to their families. All I can say is that when the kidnappers demanded ransom which was N50 million initially before it was reduced to N3 million, people were making moves to pay.
“But remember a suspected kidnapper, believed to be among the gunmen, was arrested in the week. It is possible the suspect was the one that gave the security agencies the clue. All I can say is that they are back home,” the Punch quoted a source as saying.
Another source, however, confirmed that the sum of N2 million was paid as ransom to secure the quartet’s release.
“The four victims were released at Isolo in Kwara State after payment of N2 million. When the families were able to raise N2million, the kidnappers insisted on N30million. But they collected the N2million later,” the source said.
Sunday Abutu, the Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti Police Command, confirmed the release of the victims in a statement on Saturday.
The statement was, however, silent on whether ransom was paid for the farmers’ freedom.
“The four farmers kidnapped in Ikosu Ekiti on Monday have all regained their freedom from their abductors at about 1800hours on Friday after conscious and relentless efforts by the Police, the Amotekun and the local hunters.
“They have all been reunited with their family members while the security operatives are still on the trail of the kidnappers for possible arrest,” the statement read.