The kidnappers, who abducted four landlords around Lekki Gardens Estate, in the Isheri North area of Lagos State, have demanded N300m each to release their victims.
The assailants reportedly called family members of their victims on Sunday September 17 to make the demand, threatening to harm the landlords if the demand was not met.
Punch reported that the gunmen, who were masked, emerged from the waterways while the residents were jogging around 8am on Saturday.
They were said to have shot sporadically into the air before taking away their victims in a speedboat.
Those who escaped the attack said they hid in the water for over one hour until security operatives arrived in the area.
A source in the community said the kidnappers had contacted families of the victims and demanded ransom, describing the demand as unrealistic.
He said, “They have made contact and they asked for N300m for each of the victims. They said they would communicate where they would drop the money. But we all know that the demand is unrealistic. Where do they expect the families to get N1.2bn from?”
The source added that landlords in all the estates had started a series of meetings to find a way out of the conundrum, adding that the incident was unprecedented in the community.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2 Police Command, Lagos, Abdulmajid Ali, has raised a team to go after the hoodlums.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesperson for the command, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the team had been given an order to rescue the victims unhurt.
The statement said, “The AIG, who gave the directive to the team which comprises trained and versatile police operatives and ICT experts from Lagos and Ogun commands and the Force headquarters, Abuja, described the incident as unfortunate and totally unacceptable.
“AIG Ali assures relations of the victims and the public of timely and successful rescue operation as the police have clues to the incident. And that the hoodlums, who have no hiding place, will be apprehended. He also assures the residents of the area of adequate security.
“He appeals to the relations of the victims and the public to support the police with useful information on the rescue operation while he works assiduously with the two commissioners of police in Lagos and Ogun and other stakeholders, to rescue the victims and sustain the fight against kidnapping and other crimes within the zonal command.”