My ordeal in kidnappers’ den – Ondo imam

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By Abdul Babajide

Alhaji Ibrahim Bodunde, the Chief Imam of Uso in Owo Local Council of Ondo State, has provided a detailed account of the traumatic experiences he endured while being held captive by kidnappers.

The 67-year-old imam, who was kidnapped a few days ago while tending to his farm at Asolo Camp, shared the horrifying details of his abduction on Tuesday at the Police headquarters in Akure, Ondo State capital.

According to Bodunde, his captors expressed anger and frustration upon discovering his inability to communicate in English during their interrogations.

The Islamic cleric, while recounting his time in the kidnappers’ den, revealed that he was subjected to relentless physical assault as a result.

Bodunde was kidnapped in the community while working on his farm.

The kidnappers demanded a staggering N10 million ransom for the release of the revered imam. Eventually, after negotiations and immense pressure on his family, a sum of two million naira was paid as ransom.

Following the payment, the captors reluctantly led Bodunde back to his farm, where he was finally freed.

Recalling the grueling journey he was forced to endure, Bodunde disclosed that he was made to trek tirelessly for six arduous hours through dense forest before reaching the kidnappers’ hideout.

“When we arrived at their den, they put my back to a tree and tied my hands to my back. My legs were also tied. They (the kidnappers) did not give me food or water for 48 hours.

“Before I was kidnapped, they had information about me as they reeled out my dossier to me.

“They insisted that I should speak to them in pidgin English and not Yoruba. Each time I mistakenly speak Yoruba, I will be beaten mercilessly, ” he recounted.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, disclosed that the police had successfully apprehended the suspects involved in the abduction.

According to Odunlami-Omisanya, the incident was reported on the 18th of June, 2023, when Mrs Bodunde, the wife of the victim, visited the Uso Police division around 6 pm.

“Upon arriving at the farm, they discovered Bodunde’s car and mobile phone, but the Chief Imam was nowhere to be found.

“The police swiftly launched an investigation upon receiving the report, and their efforts led to the safe release of Bodunde, ” he stated.

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