“When we stopped, they ordered us into the bush and started speaking in Hausa dialect. When I told them I don’t understand Hausa, one of them cocked the gun and wanted to shoot at me but ran out of bullet.
“While the gunmen were searching for me, soldier came and engaged them in a gun battle. In the process the armed gang fled into the bush with the professor.”
These are the words of a family member who witnessed the abduction of Anchor University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Johnson Fatokun, in Nasarawa State.
The Police Command in Nasarawa State on Tuesday confirmed the abduction, by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.
Fatokun was travelling from Jos to Keffi in Nasarawa state on Monday when he was kidnapped by armed men at about 9:00 p.m. along Akwanga-Keffi highway.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Command, Public Relations Officer, ASP Ranham Nansel, told newsmen on Tuesday in Lafia newsmen that the professor was attacked at Kurmi Shinkafa village, Kokona LGA and abducted at gunpoint to an unknown destination.
Nansel, said the Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe, upon receipt of the information, mobilised a search and rescue team comprising the Police Mobile Force, Anti-Kidnapping personnel to ensure safe rescue of the victim and arrest of the perpetrators.
He said that the team was also working in collaboration with the Military, vigilante group and local hunters with the view to rescue the victim.
The PPRO said the Commissioner commiserated with the family of the kidnapped victim, and assured that an unrelenting manhunt of the hoodlums had begun.
He said measures had also been put in place to forestall future occurrence.
Longe called on members of the public to assist the Police with useful information that would lead to the rescue of the victim and arrest of the perpetrators of the crime.
Meanwhile, a family member who was with the professor on the journey told journalists in Lafia that as they were approaching Garaku in Kokona LGA, they saw some gunmen who shot sporadically from behind and ahead of them forcing their vehicle to stop.
“When we stopped, they ordered us into the bush and started speaking in Hausa dialect. When I told them I don’t understand Hausa, one of them cocked the gun and wanted to shoot at me but ran out of bullet,” he said.
He said that when the gun man discovered that he was out of bullet he brought out his knife to stab him but he escaped miraculously, ran and hid himself in a drainage.
“While the gunmen were searching for me, soldier came and engaged them in a gun battle. In the process the armed gang fled into the bush with the professor,” he said.
He said that the abductors later called and demanded the sum of N20 million ransom for the release of the professor.
Prof. Fatokun was a former Dean, Faculty of Science and Education and Head of Department of Mathematical Science and Information Technology, Federal University, Dutsin-Ma in Katsina State.
He is the Pioneer Deputy Vice Chancellor Anchor University, Lagos, and Dean, Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences of the university.