A young man named Johnson Apeh, who was among 15 passengers kidnapped along Itobe-Ochadamu Road while travelling from Abuja to Anyigba, Kogi State, last Thursday, has been freed.
Apeh, who is from Ette in the Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, was released on Sunday night after the payment of a ransom of N500,000 to the abductors.
The kidnappers had initially demanded N10 million and later N5 million but eventually accepted N500,000 before releasing the young man.
The ransom money was raised by family members of the victim and kinsmen from his hometown in Enugu State.
A cousin of the victim, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the development to SaharaReporters on Monday.
He said, “He has been released. We paid N500,000 before they let him go. Family members and some people of Ette contributed money so that he could be freed.”
Thanking family members, friends and Nigerians for the support received during the tough period while he was in captivity, Apeh in a Facebook post on Monday said that words could not accurately capture the nasty experience he had while in the hands of his abductors.
He said, “I am indeed overwhelmed by the show of love in prayers and financial support in ensuring I regain my freedom.
“The experience was terrible and I wouldn’t wish it for even an adversary.
“But God has used you all to rescue me and I can’t forget in such a hurry. My family is full of praises and prayers for you all. We say thank you a million times!
“May God continue to bless and safeguard you all in your endeavours.”
The armed men, who carried out the operation, had blocked the vehicle Apeh was travelling in and ordered all passengers out before taking them into a nearby bush.
The hoodlums were said to have operated for over two hours unchallenged in the area with police and other law enforcement agencies failing to show up during the time.