Lagos Monarch Oniba Regains Freedom After Weeks in Kidnappers’ Den
Three weeks after he was kidnapped, a Lagos monarch, the Oniba of Iba, Oba Goriola Oseni has regained his freedom.
According to the Vanguard, the Oniba breathed the air of freedom Saturday night even as details of his rescue remain sketchy.
The abductors of the traditional ruler had demanded the payment of a N500 million ransom but it remains unclear if any sum was paid to secure his release.
The Oniba was reportedly abducted on Saturday, July 16, by gunmen dressed in military camouflages who attacked his palace around 8.30pm. They reportedly left with the 73-year-old Oba in two speedboats stationed by the waterways.
The gunmen, said to be about 16 in number, also killed a palace guard, Sunday Okanlawon; a barber, Riliwan Rasak; an unidentified motorcyclist and shot at the monarch’s wife, Kuburat who survived.
The family of the Oniba had in July pleaded with Lagos state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode to help pay the N500m ransom demanded by his abductors.
A son of the monarch, Saheed Oseni, had told newsmen at the time that the family decided to seek the support of the state government because it was impossible to raise the huge ransom on their own.
He had said, “When we heard from the kidnappers, we did not delay in notifying all the appropriate government quarters. We knew we could not raise this money. But God forbids that any evil happens (to him) and we will then be blamed for keeping mute.
“Till now, no government official has asked us anything about the ransom. We are calling on the state governor, the commissioners and all stakeholders to come to our aid by paying part of the ransom. It does not stop the (rescue) operations of the police. All that is foremost in our minds now is that baba should return home safely. We are concerned about his health. His release is the most important thing to us right now.”
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