7 September 2021
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A woman, Emmanuella Anyanwu, who escaped from the hoodlums who reportedly killed late Olajide Sowore on Saturday, has said the gunmen demanded a ransom of N10m shortly before she escaped from the camp where she was kept with four others.
Anyanwu, who said she was on her way from Lagos to Imo to bury her husband, stated that she offered the kidnappers N500,000, but was called a fool.
She recounted her ordeal at the police headquarters in Benin on Monday.
She said, “On Friday, we were coming from Lagos to the eastern part of the country and our vehicle broke down around Okada on the outskirts of Benin.
“We passed the night in the vehicle. Around 6.30am to 7am Saturday, some men came out from the bush, shooting at us; we surrendered. We were two ladies and three men.
“They took our belongings, including our phones and marched us into the bush. It took almost two hours to get to their camp. They blindfolded us and questioned us one after the other.
“They asked me where I was coming from and where I was going. I told them that I was coming from Lagos and going to Imo State for my husband’s burial. They asked how many kids I had and I told them two. I also told them I sold groundnut in Lagos. They asked if I was the one providing the money to bury my husband and I told them his brother would do that.
“They told me that they were kidnappers and they abducted me because of ransom. They said if I didn’t have money, they would take my life. I asked them how much they wanted, but one of them was furious I was asking them questions. I told them I needed to know what they wanted as ransom. They asked if I had N10m and I told them there was no way I could get that kind of money. I told them I would give them N500,000 from the money gathered from my village. One of them said I was a fool and they told me to sit down.
“Then it started raining heavily and they went away and brought another man. They took something from that man and their attention was on it. So, I removed my blindfold and crept away.
“I believe they are Fulani because on that Saturday afternoon, they released their cows and came to where we were being held.
“I saw a mast far away and I started trekking towards it. After one hour or more, I got to a road and saw an elderly man on a motorcycle. I asked him to take me to a police station, which he did.”
Asked if Sowore’s brother was killed by the gang, she said the hoodlums shot at different cars, adding that she could not tell if anyone died.
“They were harsh and warned us not to look at their faces. They also instructed us not to talk to each other. They beat the men, but spared the women. I sustained the wounds on my body when I was trying to find my way out of the bush,” she added