A businessman, Mr Happiness Okunola, who was abducted along the Isan-Iludun Road in Ekiti State, on Christmas Day, breathed the air of freedom on Monday as the efforts of Amotekun Corps and local hunters combing the expansive forest paid off.
Okunola was reportedly released at a forest in Isapa community of Kwara State around 2pm on Monday.
The Commander, Amotekun Corps in Ekiti State, Brig. Gen. Joe Komolafe, said rescue of the victim was made possible by days of manhunt and combing the expanse forest in search of the victim and the criminals responsible.
Okunola and his cousin, Oluwaseun, were abducted by kidnappers around 6pm on Friday, December 25, but while Oluwaseun was rescued, Okunola was whisked away by the kidnappers.
According to Komolafe: “Immediately the incident happened on Friday, our men were on ground and were able to rescue his cousin, Oluwaseun.
“We had been on their trail since that day and when they sensed that we were close on them, he was abandoned in a forest at Isapa in Kwara State.”
Komolafe denied payment of any ransom to secure the release of the victim, saying: “We did what was required of us since Friday and we were successful this afternoon (Monday) when he was rescued.”
Okunola, who was driven to Amotekun headquarters in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, said the gunmen, numbering six, did not give him food since Friday.
He said they walked in the forest from 6pm on Friday when he was kidnapped till 2am on Saturday when they had a brief stop to relax.
He said: “They threatened to march me to Zamfara if I did not do what they asked me to do.
“We were on the move all through and they did not give me any food to eat. They were six in number and it was only one of them that could barely speak in English language, others speak Hausa language,” he said.
A family source had said on Sunday that the kidnappers initially demanded N100 million ransom which was later reduced to N10 million and then N2 million.