It will be recalled that the 73 year old monarch was abducted by gunmen on Saturday, July 16, 2016, killing at least three persons including, Palace Security Guide, 72 year old, Sunday Okonlanwo. The oba’s wife, fondly called Iya Jelilat, who also sustained gunshot during the encounter was discharged from the hospital. The kidnappers subsequently, contacted the family and demanded for N500 Million ransom for the release of the kidnapped monarch.
The monarch narrated his ordeal thus: “I thank God for sparing my life in the hands of the kidnappers. “My family indeed paid ransom to the kidnappers but I don’t know the exact amount.
“I was released at about 7.45 pm, on Saturday. They left me alone in a canoe in one of the creeks. Because I know how to paddle a canoe, I was able to navigate my way to Iba area. “Haven paddled for a while on the water, I saw a man standing by the bank who told me I was in Iba and from there I located my way back to the palace in nicker and singlet.” When asked I how he was treated, Oseni said,” I as well treated and fed.” Meanwhile, the palace which had been turned into a “Mecca” of sort , as well wishers continue to throng the place. Family members have also engaged in series of prayer sessions, in gratitude to God for safe return of the monarch.
A family source who preferred anonymity, claimed the state government did not assist withe payment of ransom running into several millions. It was also gathered that the monarch suspected an insiders’ link with the kidnap saga as there are acrimony between him and some people of the community over certain issues.
Three weeks after the Oniba of Iba land, Oba Goriola Oseni was abducted, a crack team of security operatives from Lagos State Police Command on Saturday secured the monarch’s release and arrested two suspects who narrated how they collected N15.1 million ransom from the monarch’s family.
However, the suspects – Toba Forejo and Isaiah Ododomu – gave accounts of how they broke into the palace of the monarch and kidnapped him on July 16 after they were paraded at the State House, Alausaon Sunday.
The suspects, who claimed to be indigenes of Ondo State, said a gang of nine armed men broke into the palace and kidnapped the monarch on that fateful day, noting that the king spent three weeks in the creeks with them.
In his account, Ododomu named others in the armed gang to include Toba, Igodo, Mighty, Folly and Sam, saying one Micah, who is a leader in the group, did not go with them because he was with his girlfriend at home.