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Kidnapped Lagos school girls regain freedom, suspects arrested

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The three girls kidnapped from Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS), Ikorodu, Lagos State, have been rescued courtesy of efforts by the Nigerian police.

The three girls, Oluwatimehin Olusa, Tofunmi Popoolaniyan and Deborah Akinayo were abducted from their school Monday night.

Sources revealed that the girls were rescued on Sunday at about 9:45am by a team led by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni.

Also, three of the suspects were arrested and are currently at the Police command headquarters in Ikeja.

Among the suspects was one Emmanuel Arikiti, identified as a kingpin and two others who allegedly registered the Sim Card that was used to contact the girls’ parents for ransom.

Their rescue came two days after the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase deployed the Special Intelligence Response Team (SIRT) to compliment the efforts of the Lagos State Command.

A police source who disclosed that security agents had earlier infiltrated the gang and arrested their parents in a bid to force the hand of the kidnappers, added that the criminals gave up because of too much pressure on them.

“After Arikiti was arrested, the father of two of the criminals, volunteered to go into the Adamo creeks to speak with the others.

“He went with a canoe after Arikiti gave the police exact location of the girls. When he got to the creeks, he appealed to their baser nature, while informing them that the police have arrested one of their gang members.

“He also told them that if they don’t release the girls, that the police had stationed their helicopters for aerial bombardment. 

“Seeing no other way out, the suspects quickly took the girls to Igbo-Okuta Bridge, Imota, dropped them there and called in anonymously,” said the source.

Confirming their release, Owoseni said, “Yes the girls have been rescued. I am with them and about to hand them over to thier principal and parents. 

“In continuation of our search for the girls, I received information that they were sighted at Imota area of Ikorodu. I went there to pick them up in my car and they are safe in police custody.

“There were rescued about 9.44am today (Sunday). I can confirm that some of the suspects were arrested. We are not aware if ransom was paid.”

Owoseni who slept in the area said he was driving around Ikorodu in his car when he got a telephone call that the girls were sighted at Imota.

“They were rescued by the Imota police division. I carried the girls in my car and took them to the school to reunite them with their parents and loved ones. The girls are fine but we will not be exposing them to the media as a result of their age (14 years).

“They have gone to shower and after that, their parents will be brought to brief you people,” he said.

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