THE Ekiti State Police Command has debunked reports that school pupils abducted by gunmen on Monday, January 29, have been released.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Sunday Abutu said this while speaking with The ICIR on Saturday, February 3.
“We are not unaware of the rumour. But as it stands, the information is not true. They have not been released. We are working round the clock to ensure that they are released. The ground and air operations have started since, and hopefully soon, they will regain their freedom,” he said.
There were reports the children were released on Friday, February 3, after spending four days in captivity.
Gunmen abducted the pupils and three teachers of Apostolic Faith Church Primary and Secondary School, a private school in Emure, headquarters of Emure Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The ICIR reported that The Ekiti State Government confirmed the abduction on Tuesday, January 30, saying the school bus driver was also kidnapped, bringing the total of abductees to 10.
The abductors, who threatened to kill the children, initially demanded N100 million as ransom but reduced the sum to N15 million.
A statement by the government quoted the state Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, as describing the kidnap as callous and vowed that his government would deploy everything at its disposal to rescue the victims.
The incident happened the same day armed men shot dead two traditional rulers in the Oke-Ako axis of Ikole local government area of the state.
The rulers were said to have been attacked along Oke Ako – Ipao Ekiti – Aiyedun road on Monday evening, January 29, while coming from a meeting.
The two traditional rulers- the Onimojo of Imojo Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Samuel Olusola and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba David Babatunde Ogunsola, were killed in an ambush by armed men while the traditional ruler, the Alara of Ara –Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba escaped the attack.