This edition of the weekly update highlights criminal violence in the Niger Delta with a focus on kidnapping for ransom in Ondo State. According to data (see map below), more than 80 kidnapping incidents and over 20 related fatalities were reported in Ondo State between January 2019 and June 2022. Recent incidents indicate a resurgence of kidnapping in the State, especially the targeted abduction of passengers for ransom. In August 2022, for example, four persons including two community leaders and a chieﬅain of a major political party were reportedly abducted by gunmen along Owo-Ikare Expressway in Ago-Panu community, Owo LGA. The kidnappers later demanded 50 million naira ransom. In September, a senior civil servant was allegedly abducted and killed by gunmen in Akure, the state capital. Recently, on September 04, 2022, gunmen reportedly kidnapped 32 passengers along Owo-Benin Highway in Ifon community, Ose LGA. The passengers were reportedly abducted while they were returning from a funeral in Edo State. The kidnappers reportedly demanded 90 million naira ransom to release the passengers.
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