Some gunmen on Wednesday kidnapped five members of the National Youth Service Corps who were travelling to their orientation camps in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states .
Two other passengers on the bus conveying the corps members were also kidnapped.
The fresh graduates and the other victims were travelling from Ibadan , the Oyo State capital , to Rivers and Akwa Ibom states where they were billed to undertake their three - week NYSC orientation .
They were kidnapped on the Owerri -Port Harcourt Expressway and taken to the Umuapu forest in the Ohaji /Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State .
Briefing journalists after the victims were rescued by the police , the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Imo State Police Command , Dasuki Galadanchi , said the kidnappers established contact with the families of the corps members and demanded N 5m ransom .
The CP gave the names of the corps members as Abiola Temitope, Olubisi Adekanmi , Jose Temitayo , Folarin Opeyemi and Shonibare Ademola.
Other victims were identified as Leonard Uzondu and Raymond Ojodahe.
The CP said , “ The victims were travelling from Ibadan to Port Harcourt .
Five out of the seven of them are prospective corps members . They were on their way to the NYSC orientation camps in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states for the three weeks camping .
“They were kidnapped around 5 am on Wednesday at Umuapu , on the Owerri -Port- Harcourt Expressway. The kidnappers took them to a forest and dispossessed them of all their belongings , including money, phones , ATM cards and voter cards .
“ They compelled them to call their relatives at home to speak to them . Immediately contact was established , they instilled fear in the parents and demanded N 5 m for their freedom . ”
The CP explained that through intelligence gathering, the operatives of the Counter Terrorism Unit of the command were alerted .
He said , “The operatives went into the bush and on sighting the officers , the kidnappers abandoned their victims and fled. We rescued them unhurt, but the hoodlums made away with their valuables .
“This is part of the dividends of community policing. I urge Imo State residents to keep sharing information with the police . We cannot do it alone . ”
Galadanchi said he had ordered investigation into the incident with a view to arresting the fleeing suspects .
One of the victims , Abiola, said , “They stopped our bus and ordered us at gunpoint to follow them into the forest .
They were five with guns and machetes .
“In the bush , they took our belongings except our credentials and ordered us to call our parents . They made a demand of N5 m , but they later brought it down to N3 m .
“They ordered us to close our eyes . They were even quarrelling on how to share our personal belongings which they took from us . It was in the process that the police intervened and they abandoned us and ran away .”