Suspected kidnappers, who swooped on a family at the Epe area of Lagos State and abducted a 16-year-old student of Caleb University, have demanded a N10 million ransom. Rachel Chukwuemeka, only child of her parents, is a first year Accounting student.
She was abducted about 1 a.m. on Thursday. The six kidnappers, armed to the teeth, came in a Sienna car and four of them headed for the girl’s apartment. They used an axe to break down the door of the apartment and grabbed Rachel, who was only in her pyjamas.
They also inflicted machete cuts on her father when he attempted to struggle with them over Rachel. A resident said that the injury on the man was so serious that he had to be rushed to the nearest hospital.
Residents, who said that kidnapping was still escalating in Epe, despite Mobile Policemen patrolling the area, revealed that more than six cases occurred within the last two weeks.
Rachel’s abductors called on Friday night, demanding N10 million ransom. A source said: “Rachel’s family lives at the back of the building. The building itself is fenced. The kidnappers jumped into the compound and went straight to Rachel’s flat.
They used an axe to break down the door. They made enough noise to wake other tenants. “When they gained entry into the flat, they asked her parents for Rachel and went into her room to grab her. She screamed and cried.
She was only in her pyjamas; almost naked. They didn’t ask for anything aside from Rachel. They didn’t demand money, nothing! They were not armed robbers.
“While four scaled the fence into the compound, two remained in the Sienna car. One, among the four that jumped into the compound, wore face mask. Rachel’s father refused to allow them to take her.
When the father tried to stop them, they inflicted machete cuts on him.” When the kidnappers called the following day to ask for ransom, Rachel’s mother demanded to speak with her daughter.
“The kidnappers gave Rachel the phone. The mother asked her if she was molested in anyway, she said no.
She told her mother that they gave her clothes to cover herself. Rachel said that after the kidnappers snatched her from her home, they bundled her into the Sienna car and drove to the wharf in the area. At the wharf, they left the car and entered a boat. She said she didn’t know where they took her.
She described the place as isolated. The kidnappers collected the phone and told the mother to start working on how to raise the money,” said the source. Residents strongly believed that Rachel was targeted.
The police came moments after the kidnappers left with Rachel. A resident said: “We believe that some of these kidnappers and their informants live in the community with us. We are terrified.
They go after people they think have money. Kidnapping is becoming rampant in the area. Within two weeks, six different incidents of kidnap have occurred.
It’s a serious matter. These men always escape through the waterway. I’m suspecting that the parents of the girl will pay the ransom. I wouldn’t blame them.
They will negotiate with the kidnappers. They appeared to be on their own. The police have not made any arrest since Thursday. In most kidnap cases that have taken place in this area, victims’ families used to sort things out themselves.”
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