Divine Omajuwa and Hamza Hussena Jennifer, two kidnapped students of Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, have regained freedom.
The students of Geology and Pharmacology were abducted by gunmen who also killed their colleague, Stephen Odje, on Sunday morning, July 11, along Oria, a community with less than 15 minutes drive to the university community.
A student source told Nigerian Tribune on Wednesday that the abducted victims had been released, unhurt.
The SUG wrote a letter to the police yesterday giving them 24 hours to work on the release of the abducted students; so with prayers, the kidnappers called and police went to pick them up (location unknown) around 12:00 midnight. No money was given to the kidnappers and the students are in police custody as of this morning,” the source said.
Acting spokesperson of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe, who confirmed the development on Wednesday afternoon, July 14, said the students were in good health.
“They have been released and they are okay. As for ransom, I can’t confirm for now” he stated.
Meanwhile, Divine Omajuwa, has narrated their encounter with the kidnappers, who killed Stephen and abducted him and his girlfriend.
He said they were only on their way to Abraka from Warri, when their vehicle was waylaid by the gunmen who had earlier missed their target, and, out of anger, swooped on them.
“I travelled with Hussiena to Warri while Stephen (the deceased) also travelled to Warri separately. While I was planning to return, Stephen called me and asked that he join me back to Abraka.” he told an Abraka-based online medium, Oasis Magazine (OM).
Omajuwa further stated that while approaching Abraka, they saw a vehicle parked on the road and had assumed that it was as a result of an accident, only to discover, after slowing down, that the car was used by kidnappers to block the road.
He disclosed that as he tried to reverse his Lexus SUV for a possible escape, the kidnappers engaged them in a shoot-out, adding that his girlfriend, Hussiena, was sitting in front of the vehicle, while Stephen was at the back seat.
Omajuwa said Stephen was actually killed accidentally by the gunmen in their attempt to escape.
“They shot my car tyres while trying to shoot at us. They saw that he was already wounded and so left him behind. The kidnappers told me that we were not their targets. They said they trailed someone, but lost their target because they were distracted by a truck carrying farmers and so became angry and stayed on the road for any possible victim,”
“We were taken away to an unknown destination. They made contact with my parents before I was released,” he said, adding that he was not aware of his parents parted with a ransom.
Omajuwa, who was said to have wept profusely over the death of his friend, while relating his ordeal, said that the kidnappers conveyed them to a public school close to Abraka after they had had a discussion with his parents.
Reacting to the latest development, the Student Union Government of DELSU, expressed its appreciation for the release of the victims.
“We are grateful to God for their freedom from the hands of this evil perpetrators and the S.U.G also appreciate all Delsuites for their concern and their efforts in this trying time,”
A statement signed by Comr. Solomon Mukolo, President, SUG and Comr. Gregory Mudia Ekrakene, Director of Information, SUG, also expressed heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Stephen Odje, the entire students of Medical Biochemistry and the entire staff and students of Delta State University.