A 27-year-old fresh graduate of the Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Justina Anochie, was kidnapped through the collusion of some of her friends, with the intention of making money off her family.
The young graduate of Nursing rounded off her studies in May and graduated from the University in June 2016. She was said to have come back to her off-campus home at Ilishan, where she was kidnapped on Sunday at about 9pm. The kidnappers later contacted the family of Justina Anochie, demanding a ransom fee of N10m. The money was later reduced to N5m after negotiations.
Mrs. Judith Nze, the victim’s sister who spoke to a correspondent of Punch, disclosed that attempts to persuade the suspects to take N300,000 had yielded no fruits, adding that the kidnappers were threatening to kill Justina if the family failed to withdraw the matter from the police. She said:
“She has finished her programme in the school and was just waiting for some clearance. I learnt that the place she stays is isolated. She was taken on Sunday and since then we have all lost our peace. I have stopped going to the office because I can’t concentrate.
“Initially, we thought it was a joke until the kidnappers contacted us and demanded N10m as ransom. They later reduced it to N5m. They have refused the N300,000 we offered them, insisting that they would kill her if we don’t pay the money.
“They also said we must withdraw the case from the police as a condition for her release.
“My mother spoke with her this morning (Thursday) and she did not sound good. We are afraid they might harm her. We are just appealing to them to release her.”
A police source, however, said investigations had shown that the victim was kidnapped based on information from an insider. The source explained that a female undergraduate of a university in Lagos State had been linked with the abduction. She said:
“It was an organised crime. Based on preliminary investigations, it appeared that her friends conspired against her. It was a set-up.
“We believe the kidnappers think that her parents are wealthy and they could make money from them. A female student of a school in Lagos has already been arrested.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Muyiwa Adejobi, also confirmed the incident.