ABU: 9 students freed after bandits slashed ransom by 98 per cent

The families of the Nigerian students kidnapped along the Abuja-Kaduna highway have successfully negotiated the release of their loved ones.

The nine students of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, were abducted six days ago while embarking on a mandatory trip to Lagos.

Bandits reportedly demanded N30,000,000 for each student but later cut the ransom demand to N500,000 each after negotiating with the families, reports say. That is a 98.3-percent reduction.

Nigeria’s security forces reportedly wished the unarmed families good luck as they embarked on the dangerous journey to deliver the ransom.

The families met the armed bandits in a bush near Maru village, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State to secure the release of the nine French language students.

Christian John, whose sister, Elizabeth John, was among the students confirmed that his sister had returned home safely after they paid the ransom, Daily Trust reported.

“It was as if we were given the same time to bring the ransom,” another relative of one of the students said.

“About 12 people were released on Saturday night among them the nine students; eight females and a male.

“Each family went with their ransom separately in a bag and we were all directed by the kidnappers.”

Another family source who delivered N800,000 for the release of his niece said each family was given a particular amount to deliver with the least being N500,000.

“Some paid N700,000, some paid N800,000 and another paid N1 million. However, we paid N800,000 to get my niece out of the forest.”

The bandits were well-armed and counted the cash before releasing their abductees, the family source said.

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