The release of eight people kidnapped by unknown gunmen at Itapaji in the state’s Ikole local government area last Sunday has been confirmed by the Ekiti Police Command.

In a statement issued on Friday in Ado-Ekiti, the command’s spokesperson, Sunday Abutu, said the eight abductees had regained their freedom and been reunited with their families.

The victims’ release was made possible, he said, by the combined efforts of police, the military, the NSCDC, and the Amotekun Corps, as well as the victims’ families.

The spokesperson stated, “They have all been debriefed and reunited with their family members.”

Mr Abutu said that the arrest of four suspects in connection with the abduction was still under investigation, and that the arrested suspects would be charged in court as soon as the investigation into their culpability was completed.

Meanwhile, a source close to one of the abductees told journalists in Ado Ekiti on Friday that the abductors demanded N2.5 million, a pack of cigarettes, and one pack of milk in exchange for releasing the abductees.

The gunmen are said to have stormed a house in Itapaji town around 9.30 p.m. last Sunday, shooting indiscriminately and fleeing with eight of the building’s occupants.

The residents of the community were said to be terrified by the gunshots, which lasted over an hour.

The captives were released around 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, according to the source, and were immediately reunited with their families, according to a phone conversation with journalists on Friday.

“On Thursday evening, they were released. Before they were allowed to return home, the kidnappers were given N2.5 million, a pack of cigarettes, and a pack of milk, according to the source.