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Islamiyya School Pupils: Drama As Bandits Detain Ransom Courier Over N4.6m Shortfall

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There is confusion in the camps of the parents and the abductors of the 156 pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, in Rafi local government area of Niger State, as the courier sent to deliver the N30 million for the release of the pupils was detained by the bandits who claimed that the ransom money was short by N4.6million.

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The source learnt yesterday that the courier, Kassimu Tegina, was sent with the money through an unnamed negotiator to avoid a repeat of what happened with the N25 million earlier paid as ransom which was said to have been given to the wrong bandits.

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The bandits, it was gathered, claimed that the N30 million delivered to them by Kassimu was short by N4.6 million and held him captive along with the children until the money was completed.

“The bandits refused to release the children and also held the man we sent, Kassimu Tegina, with the help of a negotiator. They said the money is less N4.6 million. They insisted we must complete it, and in addition buy six motorcycles,” one of parents of the pupils told our correspondent.

Still recounting their experience, another parent said, “They said as a punishment we must buy six motorcycles and complete the money. We struggled to raise the N30 million and we have exhausted our goodwill to raise the N30million. So, we are confused; they (bandits) are playing on our intelligence. We are going through hell in their hands”.

The Head Teacher of the School, Malam Alhassan Garba Abubakar, who also confirmed to LEADERSHIP Weekend that the N30 million was delivered to the bandits said, “But we are yet to see the person we sent with the money and the children.

“They demanded six Honda motorcycles that cost N490,000 each. That means we need another N6million with the N4.6 million they claimed was short of the N30 million delivered as the latest ransom,” he added.

Alhassan further said the parents had initially raised N20 million as ransom, a with negotiation fee of N5million, making it a total sum of N25 million which was delivered as ransom, but the bandits said it went into wrong hands.

“They (bandits) said we should bring another N30 million before they can release the pupils. After struggling, we were able to get the money and we sent Kassimu.

“I spoke With them today (yesterday) and they said we should complete the money and make six new motorcycles available to them before they can release them. We are tired; we have resigned to God because we cannot raise any other money again”, the Head Teacher lamented.

Our sister publication, LEADERSHIP, had reported that parents of the abducted pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School had raised another N30million through donations from some notable Nigerians to complete the money demanded by bandits as ransom for the release of the schoolchildren.

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The abductors of the 156 female pupils had reduced the ransom they demanded from the parents of the girls to N50million, less than half of the initial N200million ransom they demanded for the release of the pupils.

The bandits had reportedly collected N20million but refused to release the school children, saying it went to the wrong set of bandits.

Parents of the pupils were told to pay N30 million earlier in the week but they were able to raise N20million which was collected, but three days later, the bandits after collecting the money refused to release the children.

“They wanted N30 million, we raised N20 million, we gave them the money only for them to say we only gave them money for recharge cards, now three days after, they refused to release our children,” a parent had said.

Source: LEADERSHIP Weekend

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