The victims, which included three regular pupils and two other girls enrolled in the school for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination coaching, were kidnapped at gunpoint on Friday, on the college’s premises.
Narrating how the gunmen abducted the victims, the school Principal, Yunus Emre Dogan, and the school’s Security Adviser, Stephen Adewunmi, said the abductors arrived around 9.20 pm on Friday and started shooting sporadically.
To gain entry into the compound, they were said to have dug a big hole in a fence beside a swampy area at the back of the school and headed for the female hostel.
Dogan said, “Afterwards, they took away three regular pupils, two others who were preparing for the UTME and three members of staff.”
When one of our correspondents visited the school on Saturday afternoon, parents were seen entering the school in a continuous stream of vehicles and leading their wards, carrying suitcases, into waiting cars.
Over 50 heavily armed soldiers, police officers and officers of the Vigilante Service of Ogun State patrolled the school grounds.
The panic-stricken parents were said to have asked the management of the school to give their children one-week break.
Some of the parents, who spoke to journalists during a visit by the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, said their children were traumatised by the incident and would need some time to recover.
Ahmad Ajani, whose daughter was kidnapped, said he got the news at midnight.
Ajani said his child, Hanatullah Ajani, was in the school to study for the UTME before the incident.
He said, “Somebody called me in the midnight that something happened here (the school) and my daughter was involved. I came down to the school and the police commissioner addressed us, assuring us that everything would be alright soon. I am very sad but prayerful that they will be rescued on time. I am traumatised.”
Another parent, Funmi Tijani, expressed disappointment over lack of security measures, including poor lighting of the school’s exterior.
She said, “The road is not tarred. There is no security light and there are bushes all around. Last year, the school was closed down for two weeks because of flood. There should be adequate security.
“We have agreed among ourselves to take our children away for a week. My daughter witnessed the whole scenario and she’s traumatised. So you don’t expect me to leave her behind.”
The management and parents had yet to be contacted by the kidnappers, as of the time of filing this report.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, Kayode Oluranti; the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Ilyasu; the State Director of the Department of State Services, Kabiru Sanni, also visited the school.
The Punch reports that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, deployed the IG Intelligence Response Team, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, in creeks around Ogun and Lagos states to rescue the victims.
A police source told one of our correspondents that the kidnappers may be members of the gang who abducted three pupils of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary in Ikorodu on March 1, 2016.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said , “We are doing everything possible to ensure the safe return of the pupils and the school’s employees who were kidnapped on Friday night. The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, the Anti-Kidnapping Squad and other security agencies had been deployed.”
When contacted at 5.03 pm on Saturday, a spokesperson for the school, Cemal Yigit, said, “We are just waiting to be contacted (by the police) and praying. Like we did in the morning, as soon as we have any update on the incident, we will let you know.
“The school security noticed some movement on the Closed-Circuit TV camera at the girls’ section and promptly deployed security personnel and alerted the relevant security agencies in the area as customary.
“Upon hearing the security alarm activated and sighting our security personnel, the armed invaders shot at the security personnel and managed to escape with the hostages. The security agencies are currently on their trail as the whole area has been cordoned off,” Yigit said in a statement issued on Saturday.