Popular Igbo Businessman Kidnapped For 3 Days In Lagos
A few days before the gubernatorial election in Lagos State, a famous Igbo businessman, Timothy Uche who deals in all types of electronics, was kidnapped in the Ejigbo area of Lagos State.
Mr Uche was abducted last week on Friday around 9:30 p.m. in the Iyano-Ejigbo area after the day’s business activities.
Eyewitnesses told Credible News that the gang of four kidnappers shot sporadically at the front and back of his car before dragging him out and whisking him away to an unknown destination.
The gunshot according to our source, who craved anonymity, led everyone, including tricycle riders to run for safety.
It was gathered that as soon as he was whisked away on Friday by the unknown gunmen, his telephone lines were immediately switched off. He could not be reached through his lines nor have the kidnappers called any member of his immediate family for over 48 hours.
According to two family sources, immediately after the incident was reported to the Ejigbo police station, the DPO swung into action by deploying a tracking system which indicated that Mr Uche has been taking away en route LIASU and LASU roads.
The sources told the Credible News that throughout those two days of grave silence, it was not clear what the motives of the kidnappers were until Sunday morning when the kidnappers called the wife with the husband’s GSM line demanding ransom.
At this point, a source said, the family was a bit relieved when it was cleared that Uche was not abducted for political reasons. Recall that last week was the peak of the ethnic and tribal verbal clash between the Igbos and Yorubas in Lagos over the true ownership of Lagos. It was also in the same week that the Igbo spare parts market was burnt down in the Olodi-Apapa area of Lagos State.
However, Uche’s family was again thrown into trauma when the abductors called demanding N70 million naira ransom before Uche will be released.
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Since Sunday, negotiations have been ongoing, a source close to Uche’s family said. Eventually, after a series of pleadings, the kidnappers agreed to N5 million.
While the family and friends of Uche were gathering the money, the captors placed a clause that the N5 million value must be converted to United States Dollars. Ever since the family members have been running Helter Schelter to both raise money and convert it to dollars.
When Credible News visited Mrs Uche at Ejigbo, her utterances revealed that she was optimistic about her husband’s return. She was however not willing to disclose the steps the family have taken to regain the freedom of her husband, Uche.
However, the news broke on Tuesday morning that Uche was released.
When Credible News visited Uche at his office in the Ejigbo area of Lagos, he narrated how everything happened.
Uche said: ” I was kidnapped on Friday, March 10, 2023, around 9:30 p.m., when I closed from my shop situated at Ifoshi Road, close to Iyano Ejigbo, Lagos.
”On that fateful day, three armed men and a pregnant woman shot sporadically at my car when I entered it to make a U-turn to pick up my children, who were still in the store waiting for me. The next thing I saw was people and tricycle riders running for safety. I was left alone at this point.
”They shot at the front, back, and sides of my car to ensure that I cannot escape. They even fired a bullet at my seat, which burned the upholstery of the seat but didn’t touch me. But to my greatest surprise, none of these bullets touched. At that point, the abductors whisked me away to an unknown destination.
”They drove through Egbe, Idimu, and Liasu roads to an apartment in the Ayobo area of Lagos State, where I was kept for three days. While I was struggling with them in their vehicle, they used knives on me and the gun which could not penetrate. ”There were bruises on me but the knives could not penetrate. I had bruises, but my clothes did not tear. One of them even cut through my signet but the knife could not enter me. If not God, who could have done it for me?
For the three days, I spent in their custody, I was fed and medically treated.
My family members reported the incidence to Ejigbo Police station and when I returned, I also reported there too.
This is the third time these kidnappers have come for me. The last one was two months ago. While I was in the kidnappers’ den, one of them said they had been monitoring me since Monday of the same week.
On Sunday, one of the kidnappers used my phone to call my wife, demanding N70 million in ransom. When they discovered that she could not raise the money, they agreed to N15 million, and when they observed that the money was not available, they requested N5 million, stressing that they would come for the balance later.
Asked if those that kidnapped him were Igbo or Yoruba. Uche said they speak English each time they are together. I also heard two or three of them communicating in the Igbo language at other times. I later found out that one of the kidnappers who dressed like a pregnant female is actually a male.
But, before I was released, one of the kidnappers tapped me where I was praying and said: ”It is okay, your prayers have been answered. Let us do what we want to do and leave here. But you must promise to give us the balance.” I replied that but you said I should bring a certain amount. He said: ”No. Just give us what you have. After some time, they started quarrelling with themselves. At this point, I realized that prayers were being offered by the church on my behalf. God took over. In my presence, they shared the ransom among themselves and even quarrel over the sharing formula. They told me that they will still come back for me.”
After the ransom was paid, I was blindfolded by my abductors, who dropped me somewhere at Ayobo on Tuesday, where my family members came to pick me up. My phone however is still with the kidnappers.
Recall that on October 27, 2022, in the same Ejigbo area also, the Lagos State Police Command apprehended a serial kidnapper, Joy Kolapo for kidnapping a 3-year-old boy, Bright.
The arrest was possible following a painstaking investigation and intelligence gathering into the abduction of Bright.
You can read more of such stories at Credible News and The Cheer News