The State Security Service, Lagos State Command, has arrested a 48-year-old man, Samson Adebayo, for allegedly arranging the kidnap of his nine-year-old son, Emmanuel, and demanding a ransom of N350, 000.
According to the SSS, Adebayo had solicited the help of his girlfriend, Kehinde Alonge, to kidnap Emmanuel from his residence at 2, Solomon Street, Ilu-Nla, Aradagun, Badagry.
The director, SSS, Lagos State, Mr. Ben Achu-Olayi, said Adebayo reported the incident to security agents, pretending to be distraught.
He said, “On October 7, 2013, the command received a report from Adebayo Samson, who complained that his son was kidnapped on October 3.
“Consequently, the command swung into action with the aim of rescuing the victim and arresting the culprits. Preliminary investigations confirmed the kidnapping by Alonge, who had demanded a N350, 000 ransom.
“She demanded that the ransom be paid into a United Bank of Africa account 2050908899, belonging to one Taiwo Faloye. Unknown to the suspects, we had set up a flag on the account with the bank’s cooperation and were alerted when N230, 000 was remitted.”
He said Alonge was arrested when she went to withdraw the money from a UBA branch at Ilesha, Osun State, adding that during interrogation, Alonge, a hairdresser, fingered the victim’s father.
He said, “Following Alonge’s confession, Adebayo was arrested. He confessed that he planned his son’s kidnap in order to extort money from some of his church members and sympathisers.”
Achu-Olayi warned parents to avoid endangering the lives of their children for the sake of money.
He said, “We have noticed that crimes of this nature are usually committed by parents or close relations and we are warning them that we will not tolerate such acts.”
The suspects, however, traded blame over the incident when our correspondent spoke with them.
Adebayo accused Alonge of coming up with the plan in order to raise N200, 000 for a beauty salon. Alonge however denied this.
She said, “I was in Ilesha when he (Adebayo) called me to come to Lagos that some people owed him money. He said the only way to collect the money from them was for me to come and take his son away, while he pretends that he had been kidnapped.
“I came to Lagos on October 4, 2013. I intended going to the school to pick the boy but Adebayo advised that I pick him from the house. Since the children knew me, I told the boy to follow me to get something outside, only to enter the next available vehicle to Ilesha, Osun State.
“His father even gave me N3,000 for transport. When we got to Ilesha, he sent another N3, 750 worth of recharge cards for his feeding. He even called his son on the telephone on daily basis.
“He was the one that asked me to demand N350, 000 but at the end of the bargain, he said I should accept N200,000. Since I had no bank account, I asked one of my relatives to give me his account details. But we were arrested at the point of withdrawal.”
Adebayo said, “I agreed to the plan because I was broke. I have been a vulcaniser for 20 years and I am poor. I have two kids and my wife is at a church, where she is being healed of paralysis.
“Kehinde was the one that brought up the idea that we should kidnap my son and I agreed because I needed the money too. My share would have been N100, 000 if we had succeeded.
“I feel so ashamed of myself because what I did was wrong. I hope the government forgives me and let me go home. I won’t do it again.”