By Charles Nwabardi

There is tension among residents in the Egbeda area of Lagos State over increasing crime in the area.

Residents are worried due to the activities of a group roaming the area, especially close to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), who kidnapped unsuspecting persons for ransom.

It was learnt that once they approached their prey, they quickly shove them inside their car and zoom off.

It was learnt that about an hour into such journey, they would order their victims to empty their pockets, and further demand of them to make transfers or call their family members to pay money into their bank account.

On Saturday, March 12, 16-year-old Chukwuma Felix Ukairo, became one of their victims.

The boy was sent by his mother, Ngozi Onyeama to withdraw money from a nearby ATM on that fateful day

He was kidnapped on his way to withdraw the money.

After waiting for his return for hours, Onyeama raised the alarm over his whereabouts.

Minutes later, she got called through her son’s phone and she was asked to pay the sum of N500,000 to have her son back alive.

She said: “They demanded N500,000 but I was able to raise over N300,000.

They sent a UBA account number:  2234353561, with the name Nwachukwu Francis. We reported to Idimu Police Station.”

Asked about what the police were doing on the case, She said: “We are back to normal and we are keeping our fingers crossed waiting for the police to fish out the criminals. It is rampant in this area, and my son is not the only one in the bus.

But the immediate past Lagos Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu,  who confirmed the incident, said police detectives are making efforts to arrest the culprits.

He said: “We have an order from the Commissioner of Police Abiodun Alabi to increase police presence in the area and other parts of the state.

“It’s advised that citizens in distress should always call our control room numbers for a swift response. Control Room Numbers are 08063299264, 08065154338, 08127155132, and toll-free numbers 767 and 112.”

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