Alhaji Ibrahim Bodunde, the Chief Imam of Uso in Owo Local Council of Ondo State, has given a detailed account of the traumatic experiences he endured while being held captive by kidnappers.
The 67-year-old imam, who was kidnapped a few days ago while tending to his farm in Asolo Camp, on Tuesday shared the gruesome details of his abduction at the police headquarters in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
According to Bodunde, his captors expressed anger and frustration when they discovered his inability to communicate in English during their interrogation.
While recounting his time in the kidnappers’ den, the Islamic cleric revealed that he suffered relentless physical abuse as a result.
Bodunde was kidnapped in the community while working on his farm.
The kidnappers demanded a staggering N10 million ransom for the release of the revered Imam. Eventually, after negotiations and immense pressure on his family, a sum of two million naira was paid as ransom.
After the payment, the captors reluctantly led Bodunde back to his farm, where he was finally freed.
Recalling the grueling journey he was forced to endure, Bodunde revealed that he was forced to trek tirelessly for six arduous hours through dense forest before reaching the hideout of the kidnappers.
“When we arrived at their cave, they put my back to a tree and tied my hands to my back. My legs were also tied. They (the kidnappers) did not give me food or water for 48 hours.
“Before I was kidnapped, they had information about me when they printed my file for me.
“They insisted that I speak to them in pidgin English and not Yoruba. Whenever I mistakenly speak Yoruba, I will be beaten mercilessly,” he recounted.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya disclosed that the police had successfully apprehended the suspects involved in the abduction.
According to Odunlami-Omisanya, the incident was reported on June 18, 2023, when Mrs. Bodunde, the victim’s wife, visited the Uso Police Division at about 10am.
“When they arrived at the farm, they discovered Bodunde’s car and mobile phone, but the Chief Imam was nowhere to be found.
“The police quickly launched an investigation after receiving the report and their efforts led to the safe release of Bodunde,” he said.