Toyin, wife of the deputy managing director (DMD) of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr Steve Nwosu, was abducted on Monday, after unknown gunmen invaded their residence in Amuwo-Odofin local government area of Lagos State.
The gunmen, numbering about seven, were said to have stormed Bale Street in Ogundiaro Bashorun Sunmonu Akanwo Estate, Okota at about 1a.m.
They were said to have gained entrance into a building close to Nwosu’s house with the aid of an abandoned ladder used to paint the building.
But on sighting them, the owner of the building was said to have scaled the fence to another street, where he sought refuge.
Narrating the incident to newsmen, Nwosu said that when he started hearing constant banging on the window of his sitting room, he went to the kitchen to check what was amiss.
He said, “When the banging continued, I realised that it was happening in the palour. Then I saw them jumping into the living room and instantly pointed their guns at me. Three of them were in the palour at that time. One of them was wielding an AK 47 rifle, one a pistol, while the third was having a sledge hammer with which they pulled down the burglar proof.
“Immediately, they started shouting: ‘Bring the money! Bring the money! There and then, I started pleading with them that there was no money in the house. But they persisted. Then they forced me to lie face down on the floor; they began stepping on me and hitting me. In the process, I sustained injuries in my lips.
“At that point, the noise of the encounter woke up the children who rushed to the palour and began screaming, ‘daddy, daddy!’ Then, the gun men herded them into their room and locked them all up. Instantly, the children obeyed them and stopped screaming.
“Then, they went for my wife and again screaming: ‘where is the money!, Where is the money and the jewelry too!’ They took her to all the rooms, and began ransacking everywhere. When they could not get anything, they returned to the palour, took a scarf and blindfolded me.
“They told me to get up and follow them. Then as they were going out, they changed their mind and took me back to the palour and then asked my wife to go and dress up because she was putting on a pajamas at that time. Again, they told me to lie face down still blindfolded. Then suddenly, I heard people shouting ‘ole, ole’ outside, and a gunshot followed. Later they shot at the people screaming. This was what I learnt afterwards.
“Realising that they might have left, I stood up and started searching for my wife. It was in the process that I discovered that the children were locked up in their room.
“Eventually I came out when I could not see my wife; then I was told by neigbours that four other men were outside waiting for the three that came inside the house. I was also told that they took my wife into a boat and sped off.
“The whole operation lasted for about 30 minutes. It began with the banging at the window at about 1.50am. At that point, I was even too confused to call anybody, not even the police,” he said.
The DMD described the incident as a robbery taken too far. He said “They also robbed a neigbour who jumped over the fence and sustained some degree of injury. Even when we are under Okota Police jurisdiction, it was the police from Festac Division that came. The roads leading to our area is very bad.”
Nwosu said he called his wife’s relations in Festac, “they were the ones that contacted the police at Festac Division”, but before the arrival of the policemen, the hoodlums had escaped with his wife.
When asked if the abductors had established contact with him, Nwosu affirmed, saying that they demanded a sum of N100 million, before his wife would be released.
“So far, they have made contact with me demanding a ransom of N100 million. They should realise that journalists don’t have money. I’m appealing to them to release my wife unconditionally. I wonder what is often attracting robbers to my home. My house is not the finest in the area. I’m increasingly getting frustrated,” he said.