Some gunmen on Wednesday kidnapped five members of the National Youth Service Corps who were travelling to their orientation camps in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states .
Two other passengers on the bus conveying the corps members were also kidnapped .
The fresh graduates and the other victims were travelling from Ibadan , the Oyo State capital , to Rivers and Akwa Ibom states where they were billed to undertake their three -week NYSC orientation .
They were kidnapped on the Owerri -Port Harcourt Expressway and taken to the Umuapu forest in the Ohaji / Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State .
Briefing journalists after the victims were rescued by the police , the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Imo State Police Command , Dasuki Galadanchi , said the kidnappers established contact with the families of the corps members and demanded N 5 m ransom .
The CP gave the names of the corps members as Abiola Temitope , Olubisi Adekanmi, Jose Temitayo , Folarin Opeyemi and Shonibare Ademola .
Other victims were identified as Leonard Uzondu and Raymond Ojodahe .
The CP said, “ The victims were travelling from Ibadan to Port Harcourt . Five out of the seven of them are prospective corps members . They were on their way to the NYSC orientation camps in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states for the three weeks camping.
“They were kidnapped around 5 am on Wednesday at Umuapu , on the Owerri-Port- Harcourt Expressway . The kidnappers took them to a forest and dispossessed them of all their belongings , including money, phones , ATM cards and voter cards .
“ They compelled them to call their relatives at home to speak to them . Immediately contact was established, they instilled fear in the parents and demanded N 5 m for their freedom. ”
The CP explained that through intelligence gathering , the operatives of the Counter Terrorism Unit of the command were alerted .
He said, “ The operatives went into the bush and on sighting the officers , the kidnappers abandoned their victims and fled . We rescued them unhurt , but the hoodlums made away with their valuables .
“This is part of the dividends of community policing . I urge Imo State residents to keep sharing information with the police . We cannot do it alone. ”
Galadanchi said he had ordered investigation into the incident with a view to arresting the fleeing suspects .
One of the victims , Abiola , said, “ They stopped our bus and ordered us at gunpoint to follow them into the forest . They were five with guns and machetes .
“In the bush , they took our belongings except our credentials and ordered us to call our parents . They made a demand of N 5 m , but they later brought it down to N 3 m .
“They ordered us to close our eyes. They were even quarrelling on how to share our personal belongings which they took from us . It was in the process that the police intervened and they abandoned us and ran away . ”
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