A man identified as Victor Ogungbemi from Ondo State has narrated his horrific ordeal after being kidnapped. According to the victim, the unfortunate incident that left him amputated, happened as he left Kogi State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Obangede where he took one of his nieces to for entrance examination.
The Medical Student of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti explained that:
“I took one of my brother’s daughters from Ondo State to the Kogi State College of Nursing at Obangede in Okene for entrance examination. Immediately she was done with the exam, we took off coming back to Ondo, but just as we were still in Okene like about ten electricity poles away to a military checkpoint, we were accosted by a group of kidnappers.
“Just myself and the girl in an Honda Pilot Jeep; our vehicle was in the front while a line of few vehicles behind us. I began to hear sporadic sounds of gunshot. All of a sudden, a group of kidnappers suspected to be Fulanis emerged from the bush. I could not control myself anymore for the intense fear that gripped me. All I could remember was that I drove facing the bush and the vehicle got stuck.”
Ogungbemi said one of the suspected kidnappers rushed at him, dragged him and his niece out of the jeep. According to his account, he said the suspect was fair in complexion and had on his head hear that resembled that of Fulani.
“It was around 2.30pm. He sat the young girl down on the ground. I was afraid thinking he wanted to shoot her, but he left her there and took hold on me. He dragged me into the bush. While he was with me, others were also attending to the occupants of the vehicles behind me.
“Swiftly, they got us into the bush. Others were going with their victims at a short distance ahead of us while only me and this guy, who had a fearful gun with him, were coming behind. All I could recall from his words of command is ‘tefi gida’.”
The victim said he was pleading with them, asking what the captors really wanted from him. He explained that when it seemed that they would not listen, he began to cry loudly.
“It got to a stage I found it difficult to move faster with them and he wanted me run and join others ahead. So I began to cry loudly. He was now saying something in the language I did not understand.
“In annoyance, he moved back a bit and pulled up the gun and fired gunshots at me. I shouted ‘Jehovah!’ I fell and a tree also fell on me. Maybe he thought that I was dead, he left me and ran to the direction of others.
“As I was struggling, I discovered my two hands and one leg could not function anymore. My left leg tore apart. I was helpless; no more strength in me to shout–I was there groaning in pain and in my own blood. And that day I had not eaten anything because I was observing a fasting and praying.”
The medical student explained that he thought he would die at the spot. But he said in about an hour or so he could hear voices of some people coming towards the spot and as they drew closer he discovered they were military men.
“Maybe the sporadic shooting caught their attention because the scene was not too far from their checkpoint, as the soldiers saw me from a little distance, I heard them say ‘this is another man o.’
“They came closer to me and discovered I was still breathing. They were about six. They now carried me and asked if I knew the route the kidnappers took. As I managed to tell them, one of them screamed and began to shoot to the direction. I wanted to tell them that they should stop shooting because the Fulanis were also going with many other victims, but I had no strength to inform them. I was faintly begging them to shoot me and let me die because the pain was very much. The soldiers were telling me that I would not die if I have faith.”
According to the victim, the soldiers rescued him from the bush, put him in their van and carried him to the General Hospital Okene around 4pm. He said before the soldiers left him they contacted his wife and informed her what had happened and the present location of her husband.
“The Nurses that were on ground in the hospital wanted to reject me, but the military men warned them sternly from doing so. I was in pain. The nurses reluctantly set a drip for me.
“In the midnight as I was in the bed in the hospital, I noticed two men came closer to me, they wore jackets on which it was inscribed ‘Police’. In about two minutes they left me to meet with the Nurses on duty. They later came back to inform me that the hospital would not be able to remove the bullets in my body except I was ready to die.”
Ogungbemi alleged that the police informed him that they would take him to the hospital where they used to go whenever their colleagues sustained bullet wounds.
“The police put me in my vehicle and began to move. I was surprised and scared to see them heading into bush again. They drove long in the bush and eventually got to an isolated house where we met just an old man.
“I thought they wanted to killed me, I had zeroed my mind. They put me down on the bear floor and the policemen went to have words with the old man. The old man later came to perform some incantations on me and said he has removed the bullets and that his service would cost 1.5 million Naira.
“While they were still doing that, I saw my wife come to the bush in the midnight. But in the following day I now asked how she got to know the bush. She now explained that when she got to the hospital where the soldiers described for her, she could not find me there and when she asked of my whereabouts form the staffs on duty, they were not ready to disclose it to her.
“My wife, being a nurse too, she now introduced herself and informed them that if they would not produce her husband, she would call the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital and at the same time report them to the authorities in Abuja. It was then they disclosed to her that policemen had taken me to another hospital. She said they now askes her to wait that the policemen would come back to the hospital shortly”
The victim, who wondered whether there was a secret deal between the health staffs, the police and old man, said he spent three days in the bush as the old man insisted they must pay 1.5 million Naira for his service before he would release the man in pain to his family.
“On the third day, my brother who happened to be a road safety officer now came and gave the man four hundred thousand Naira. He pleaded with him to allow us go in order to rally round for the 1.1 million Naira balance which he promised to bring the following day. The old man now considered the opinion.
“My brother brought an ambulance to carry me from the bush and moved me to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo in Ondo State.
“My left leg was amputated three different times in surgical operations as a result of the incident. They cut it off from below my buttock. My manhood is now longer than my left leg.”
The medical student, who said he had not been able to go to school because of his ill health, expressed that his road-safety brother took the matter up against the police but till today the case did not see the light of day.
“We have spent a lot of money, the family has gone bankrupt on this issue. To eat is now very difficult left alone going back to hospital for medication”, Ogungbemi lamented.
Credit; Omo Edema.