The Management of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, said nine of its students kidnapped along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway last Sunday, by gunmen, have been set free by their kidnappers.
ABU Director of Public Affairs, Auwal Umar, confirmed the release of the kidnapped students on Sunday.
Umar said the nine students regained freedom from their captors on Saturday night.
He, however, couldn’t confirm whether a ransom was paid before the release of the students.
Umar said, “All that I can say is that our students that were kidnapped some days ago have been released.”
On whether a ransom was paid before their release, Umar added, “We don’t want to go into that. Honestly, I don’t know but all that I can confirm to you is that they (students) have been released. They were released last night (Saturday).”
Also, a brother to one of the students, Julius Mutum, tweeted that his sister has been freed.
Mutum wrote, “Some of the #ABU9 including my sister have just regained their freedom. Strictly by family efforts. Thank you @TheAbusite for lending your voice when everyone including govt and security agents didn’t care.”
However, one of the parents of the abducted students said he paid over N500,000 after pleading with the abductors.
“They called me yesterday (Saturday), and said if I am not able to pay N1 million, they will kill the girls or marry them or use them as sex slaves,” he said.
The parent, who craved anonymity, said they expected more assistance from security personnel.
“On arriving Kaduna we were told that security personnel were monitoring the bandits in the bush. But surprisingly, the bandits called us and told us to come and wait at Abuja junction,” he said.
“They sent us a telephone number to call. We called the number and the person came to take us to a car. Unknown to me, the owner of the car is also a victim- his daughter was among those abducted.
“We drove along the Kaduna – Abuja road, that was around 11pm to deliver the ransom and other things they demanded.”
Dickson Oko, one of the students who escaped but suffered a gunshot wound, had earlier said the kidnappers already reached out to the families of the students to demand N30 million each for their freedom.