Devastated parents of the three siblings kidnapped by their maid last Wednesday, yesterday said they were still struggling to raise the N13 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers for the release of their children.
Vanguard gathered that, yesterday, the abductors refused to bring down the ransom, maintaining that they would only release the children when the ransom was paid.
The abductors, who initially demanded N15 million, reportedly reduced it to N13 million last Friday after passionate pleas from parents of the kidnapped children.
Their mother, Mrs Adebisi Orekoya, said she wished the whole scenario would turn out to be a dream.
The children, Demola,6; Adedamola, 4, and Aderomola, 11 months, were abducted by their househelp, one Mary Akinloye, 24 hours after she was employed by the family via OLX, an online sales portal, with an agreement of N10,000 to N15,000 monthly salary.
Akinloye, who claimed to be 23 years old and hailed from Ibadan, Oyo State, according to the family, resumed work on March 7, when the former nanny did not show up after her annual leave.
However, trouble started for the family next day, after Mrs Orekoya, who was at work, received a call from her eldest son of age 10, at about 1pm, informing her that Akinloye (maid) had left the house with his siblings.
She reportedly did not give the children lunch before leaving the house with the 11 -month-old baby strapped to her back, while she held others by the hand.
Tension heightened when neither the new maid nor the children were seen at about 4pm.
By Friday last week, the maid reportedly spoke with the family on phone, where one of her accomplices gave the family a two-day ultimatum to produce the N13 million ransom, threatening that they would lose the children if they failed to make the money available.
A source said: “The whole family has been thrown into untold trauma. As at Friday last week, my brother received a text message, where the kidnappers threatened to waste the children if the N13 million ransom was not paid within 24 hours.
“In fact, their exact word was that they would ‘delete’ the children if they failed to pay the money.
“The children’s mother is a shadow of her old self. She is devastated. She loves all her children no doubt, but she is concerned more about 11 months old Aderomola.
“She never ceases to call out to him everyday, wondering what type of food he was being fed with. During one of the conversations, she was allowed to speak with the children, who claimed they were being taken care of.
“But the issue now is how to raise the requested amount.”
On his part, father of the abducted children, Mr. Leke Orekoya, who spoke with Vanguard on phone, said they were still trying to raise the money.
He said: “We are still trying to raise the money. They have not shifted ground. The amount is still what they demanded for (N13 m).
“My wife is devastated at the moment and we are praying and hoping that we would be able to reunite with our children soon.”
When contacted, spokesman for Lagos State Police Command, Kenneth Nwosu, said investigation into the abduction was still ongoing, adding that effort was on to rescue the children.