Bandits demand N270 million to free kidnapped ABU students

The Nigerian students kidnapped along the Kaduna-Abuja highway will not be released until N270 million is paid in ransom, their captors have reportedly said.

The students who were studying French at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, were abducted while embarking on a compulsory Lagos trip on Sunday.

Dickson Oko, who was part of the trip, was said to have escaped from the armed kidnappers who inflicted gunshot wounds on him in an attempt to recapture him.

Oko, who is now recovering in hospital, said he left his phone and other belongings and fled their bus after the gunmen blocked both lanes on the road. He could not find the items after returning to the bus. He said he was not the only occupant of the commercial bus who the scene.

The kidnappers have contacted the families of those abducted and are demanding N30 million ransom on each person, Oko told Daily Trust.

A female relative of one of the kidnapped students reportedly confirmed the N30 million figure to the Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service monitored in Kaduna.

Oko and the bus driver, Nuruddeen Mohammed, also said that 12 of them – 10 females and two males – were on the bus but nine students were kidnapped.

ABU authorities, however, said that eight people were kidnapped.

It will take N270 million to free nine students; and N240 million to free eight.

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