Pastor in charge of Christ Gospel Apostolic Church, Oke-Yidi Road, Modakeke, Femi Akinniyi, who was abducted by nine herdsmen four days ago, has been released after payment of N650,000 in Osun State. It was learnt that the police were yet to get a clue to locating the herdsmen and the pastor, when he was released yesterday. Akinniyi was in his Toyota Corolla car, driving in the afternoon, when he was waylaid by fierce-looking gunmen at Wasimi via Gbongan on Ife-Ikire-Ibadan Expressway. The kidnappers shattered the windscreen of Akinniyi’s car with their guns and then dragged him out.
They removed his car keys, collected his phones and marched him into their den. It was also discovered that a gang of armed robbers, for close to 30 minutes, robbed motorists at the same sport where the pastor was abducted. When police got to the scene, they noticed that Akinniyi’s car was riddled with bullets.
They towed it to their station. Akinniyi told friends that he was tortured. The pastor’s captors initially demanded millions of naira, but later collected N650,000 when they realised he couldn’t cough up the initial amount.
The kidnappers contacted his family members and arrangement on how to get the money across to them was reached. All efforts to speak with Akinniyi proved abortive, as he was said to have been admitted into a private hospital for proper medical treatment. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and some other notable pastors, including Akinniyi’s associates, were said to have played key roles in securing his release.
One of those who went to secure his freedom and who preferred anonymity, said: “Pastor Akinniyi told me that his abductors comprised of nine herdsmen and a Yoruba person, who understood their language. The Yoruba guy stood in their midst and was their mouthpiece for negotiation of ransom.” Venerable Babalola, another pastor, who played a major role in securing Akinniyi’s release, appreciated God for the cleric’s safety.
All efforts to speak with the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs. Folashade Odoro, on the matter, proved abortive. A top ranking officer, however, said that the case was reported to the police.