Less than two months after 29-year-old Kemisola Ogunyemi lost her mother, her family now has a fresh problem to contend with.
The tragedy of losing her mother on December 26, 2012 had brought Kemisola and her husband, Akin, back home from the United States where they had lived in for about a year.
But the joy of seeing the family they left behind in Nigeria has become short-lived as Kemisola was kidnapped about 8.30pm in Ajah, Lagos on Sunday, February 10, 2013 by a gang of kidnappers.
Since the incident, Kemisola’s husband, Yinka, and father have been too distraught to attend to visitors, a family member who sought anonymity told our correspondent.
The relation told our correspondent that Kemisola was kidnapped about one minute’s drive to her Abraham Adesanya Estate home in Ajah.
She said, “Kemisola and her husband just got an apartment in Abraham Adesanya Estate. In fact, they moved in less than a month ago.
“The day she was kidnapped, she was coming back from a visit to her father who lives in Ikorodu. When she got to Jeffery Plaza, which is about a minute’s drive to her hosue, some men double-crossed her Murano Sport Utility Vehicle, took control of the car and took her away in it.
“We actually got the details from people who witnessed it around the plaza. They said the kidnappers shot into the air and zoomed away with her in the car.”
But the family’s apprehension became heightened when Kemisola’s SUV was discovered the following day in the front of Ogombo Police Station, Ajah with one of her shoes in it.
On Monday, our correspondent learnt that the kidnappers called her husband with Kemisola’s phone.
Kemisola’s husband picked the call and was confronted by a voice at the other end, who spoke in pidgin in what was believed to be an Igbo accent.
“They called about 11.41 am on Monday. The speaker clearly sounded like an Igbo man. He said, ‘Where are you?’ But when Yinka said he was in the house, the speaker asked again ‘Are you sure? Are you sure you are in the house?’
“Yinka insisted that he was in the house. He told them he wanted to speak with Kemisola and they gave the phone to her.
“Kemi sounded very distraught on the phone. She was begging her husband to please help her and do everything the men demanded.”
But it was learnt that the kidnappers disconnected the call after thepy instructed Yinka to call them later by 2pm on Monday.”
Kemisola’s husband called back not long after the call was disconnected but the phone had been switched off. He called again about 2.15pm and the phone was still switched off.
The kidnappers later called on Monday night and demanded N60m for Kemisola’s release.
The relation told our correspondent, “When they asked for the money, we were all shocked. We pleaded with them, but they were threatening to kill her.
“How do we get N60m? We are not politicians. Yinka is just a salary earner while Kemisola has not even got a job since they got back to Nigeria.”
But on Tuesday, it was learnt that the kidnappers called again with their own number. The relation noted that they sounded anxious and were insistent that the N60m should be paid as soon as possible.
She said the kidnappers called about 10 times repeating their demand and asking when it would be paid.
“The man who spoke on the phone said, ‘We will kill her if you don’t pay. We kidnapped two other women and we have already killed them because they did not pay what we demanded.’ How do we get N60m? The whole family is really confused right now,” the source said.
According to the family member, when Yinka spoke with Kemisola again, she sounded calmer. But the kidnappers did not give him time to ask his wife if they had manhandled her as they made the call very brief.
Kemisola was said to have left for the US with her husband shortly after their wedding in 2011.
A resident of the area told our correspondent that Kemisola was kidnapped in an area notorious for criminality.
About a month ago, some policemen were killed by robbers in the area while a young man, Ikenna, was dispossessed of his N1.3m car around Abraham Adesanya Estate on February 3, by carjackers.
However, on Friday evening, the family said Kemisola had been released after an unspecified ransom was paid.
A family member, who spoke with our correspondent, said, “Kemi told us she was beaten brutally. They dropped her off along the Lekki-Epe Expressway around 8pm on Thursday. Luckily, she was able to get help from motorists and later contacted us.
“We paid the ransom on Thursday morning after the kidnappers played different tricks to ensure they evaded capture. They thought we had involved the police.
“We just thank God we have her back. But she’s not in any condition to answer any questions for now. She is resting.”
However, the Deputy Public Relations Officer of the state command, Mr. Damascus Ozoani, said he was not aware that Kemisola had been released when our corresondent contacted him.
“I will find out about the investigation from the Ajah Police Division,” he said.