Former Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae, yesterday admitted the payment of ransom to the Fulani herdsmen who kidnapped him on his birthday and released him 72 hours later.
According to reports from the vanguard, a dependable source confided in Vanguard that N5 million was paid as ransom before the former Minister for Finance was released last week Thursday.
Chief Falae, who received the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alani Akinrinade in his residence in Akure, however, did not say the exact amount paid to the kidnappers.
Speaking with newsmen during the visit of Akinrinade, Chief Falae said his abductors threatened to kill him every 30 minutes until they received information that money had been given to them as demanded.
In Chief Olu Falae’s words: “There were six of them with three or four guns and every half an hour or so, they will say, ‘Baba we are going to kill you if you don’t give us money. We are going to kill you.’
“On Wednesday, one of them came and said, ‘look we are going to leave here on Thursday morning. Since we cannot leave you here alone, if we don’t get what we want, we are going to kill you.’ And they said they gave me until 3pm and if at 3pm they don’t get the money that they would execute me. I thank God that at 21 minutes to 3pm, one of them came and said, ‘the money don complete.’
“The confirmation of the payment of ransom was made on Wednesday afternoon, I was not allowed to go until Thursday morning.
“So the following morning, they said I should go. One of them took ropes to stitch my buba which was already in tatters, so that it could at least stay on me and I wouldn’t look like a lunatic while leaving that place.
“So when I came out of the bush, I was able to find an okada rider, who gave me a lift to Owo.
“The place was about 10km from Owo town. The place was between Owo and Ifon. And I walked most of the distance between my farm to that place, that is about 25km that we had to trek.”
It would be recalled that the police IG, after the release of Chief Falae was quoted as saying: “The most important thing is that baba has come home safely, that is the mandate the President has given to me and that is exactly what I have done.”
When asked about the arrest made in connection with the kidnap and the amount paid as ransom, the police boss said, “I will let you know about arrest later, but no ransom was paid.”
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