The frightening spate of kidnapping in the Southwest spread its tentacles to Oyo State on Tuesday evening as suspected gunmen abducted Mr. Dayo Adewole, son of the immediate past Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.
It, however, emerged last night that Dayo has been released, though it could not be confirmed if a ransom was paid or not. Dayo was released barely 24 hours after he was kidnapped at his farm located at Iroko, near Fiditi in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo.
An aide to the ex-minister confirmed to newsmen last night that the victim was released on Wednesday evening. He said: “The minister’s son regained freedom just this evening and he is with his family in Ibadan. Details are still sketchy but we will issue a press release soon.”
The kidnappers had reportedly wore facial masks to hide their identity and took away Dayo, escaping through the neighbouring village. One of Dayo’s workers immediately raised the alarm and alerted the villagers who quickly sent local hunters after the kidnappers. The hunters found the car used by the kidnappers but neither Dayo nor any of the abductors were found on Tuesday evening.
The village head, Oniroko of Iroko, made a phone call on a radio programme and alerted the public.
It was gathered that the military, the police and security agencies joined forces with the villagers to search for Dayo. The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Leye Oyebade, had earlier yesterday disclosed that three persons had been arrested in connection with the abduction.
The AIG confirmed the police manhunt for the kidnappers, combing the forest with a view to apprehending the criminals. The three persons arrested included the driver that the victim employed a few days ago, Mr. Gbenga Ogunleye; the farm manager, Mr. Sodiq Adebayo, and one other worker at the farm.
Adebayo said the kidnappers were four in number and their hooded leader wore military camouflage, while three others did not cover their faces, but only put on black clothes, and were armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, adding that the kidnappers spoke a tongue he suspected to be Fulani language.
Dayo was taken away from his farm in his car and the car was later abandoned about two kilometres from the farm, and he was taken into the thick forest, and probably transferred into another vehicle.
The car was recovered from where it was parked, but a combined team of security agencies and local hunters reportedly combed the forest throughout the night on Tuesday with a view to rescuing the young Adewole, but to no avail. However, their toil paid off yesterday evening when Dayo was rescued unhurt.
The father, Prof. Adewole, as gathered, was out of the country at the time the incident occurred but he reportedly cut short the trip to return to Nigeria yesterday.
AIG Oyebade, who visited the scene of the incident at Iroko, enjoined members of the public and political office holders to be security conscious on those they employed as their aides as some of them are dangerous elements who do give away their masters.