Gunmen Abduct 65 Years Old Dubai Based Businessman at FESTAC
The fragile peace of hitherto highflyers’ residential area, FESTAC town, Amuwo-Odofin area of Lagos, was again on Thursday night punctured, after seven heavily armed men waylaid a Dubai-based Nigerian businessman, Francis Ibeh, and whisked him away in a black Toyota Highlander utility vehicle.
A police source attached to Area “E” Police command in FESTAC, in a telephone conversation disclosed to our Correspondent that, Mr. Ibeh was abducted about 9.00pm, on his way back from office. “He was returning from office at Alaba International market, and was going home, when the people who had earlier laid ambush for him, blocked him near the Mobil petrol station, pulled him out of his vehicle, bundled him into their waiting Toyota Highlander and drove off.”
The source added that the whole episode happened very fast, for one to be able to recast it vividly. “Before they kidnapped him, they started firing into the air, perhaps to scared away people and any security personnel around the area. It was like they were acting a movie. People were more interested in scampering for safety than taking note of the vehicle or the gunmen.”
When our Correspondent contacted the family of the victim for comment, a young man, who refused to disclose his name, simply said, “my brother, please, we don’t want Journalists and Police in this matter. We don’t want anything to happen to our brother. He is the only person we have, and he is the breadwinner of the family. Please, journalist, help us and leave this matter for now.”
Asked if the hoodlums have made any contact with the family, he said, yes, “and they only told us to relax that our brother was safe and that they would get back to us, with the terms and condition for his release. So, we are still awaiting their call as they promised.”
The Commissioner of Police (CP) Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, in a telephone interview confirmed the development and blamed the family for shutting out the Police in the entire episode. “ The families of victims of kidnap do not usually want us to get involved at all. This is not the first, not the second time that someone would be kidnapped, and the family would refuse Police involvement. They prefer to play according to the terms and condition of the hoodlums. They would tell you that they don’t want their person hurt at all. So, we work according to the family cooperation in a matter like this. But, I can confirm this incident to you,” Owoseni stated.
Checks revealed that kidnapping in and around FESTAC is now more frequent. It was gathered that, just last Sunday, an entire family of four was kidnapped by gunmen, “they were abducted on their way back from Church and taken hostage. The kidnappers later allegedly collected $1Million from the family, but still refused to free the victims, but rather requested for another $1Million, which the family are still rallying around to pay.”
Our Correspondent was told that, the Ibeh’s operation happened few meters away from a Police pinned down point, near Amuwo-Odofin Mobil petrol station. “As soon as the Police heard the gun shots from the criminals, they disappeared only to resurface after the crooks had left with their victim.”