Details are still sketchy, but it appears that terrorists who grabbed the former Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA), Alwani Ali Hassan, have suffered double jeopardy: they lost him and lost the N100 million ransom bounty they got to release him.
Their loot is in the hands of security forces as the vehicle conveying the money to them after their release of Alwani was intercepted and seized by security forces. A video of the seized money has been posted on social media.
A maroon red Volkswagen car, with a Kano registration number, was seen in the video, and a voice explained that craters of egg were placed on the money, stuffed in cartons.
In an earlier video, the terrorists who had Alwani claimed they were releasing him not for ransom, but out of pity for him and for his age. They appeared also to have made him say the same thing in the video, where they spoke in Hausa language.
A source told Everyday.ng that two days after the kidnap of Alwani, along with an unverified number of passengers on the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train, negotiations with his abductors began from N600 million, but it finally ended at N100 million, which friends and family put together to secure his freedom.
The source added that huge sum demanded for the bank chief followed the ill-advised publication of his photo on social media by worried sympathisers after the attack on the train.
The Nigerian of Yemeni descent is said to have been born and raised in Kano. “His great grandfather is from Yemen. But his father, mother and siblings were all born in Kano.”
Another source said he was at banker’s office on Monday, and words were that the ransom demanded was N100m.
“Unfortunately, he is not the most popular MD in Nigeria (as his staff) allege he has a reputation of engaging his Lebanese friends…. Just a few days before one of our top executives was abducted, he (the executive) allegedly told his staff not to ever call his line or give kidnappers his phone number if any of them got kidnapped,”
Everyday.ng had late Wednesday evening broke the news of Alwani’s release.
168 persons remain unaccounted for after the historic attack on the Kaduna bound train last week Monday.
It was reported that the Nigeria Railway Corporation is as confused as many other Nigerians as to the whereabout of the 168, whether they were kidnapped for ransom or they went home without reporting to government.
So far, eight people have been officially confirmed as killed, while 26 were injured, though unofficial sources say the number is far higher.
Among the dead were two officials of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
They were the Secretary-General, Barr. Musa-Lawal Ozigi, and TUC Chairman in Kwara, Comrade Akinsola Akinwunmi.