Sisters of St. Louis Reverend Sisters deny paying ransom to free abducted members

The three of them were travelling from Kaduna to Ijebu-Itele, Ogun,for a programme when their vehicle broke down at Kajola, along the Lagos- Ore Road.

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A group in the Catholic Church says no ransom was paid to secure the release of Reverend Sisters Perpetua Apo and Roseline Familade, and their driver, Zwugwa Zibaia abducted recently.

This is contained in a statement issued by Sr. Isabel Mann, Provincial Leader, and Sisters of St. Louis, Nigeria Province, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

The statement explained that the abductors had contacted the Sisters of St. Louis and demanded a ransom of N20million.

"We are grateful to God that on May 22, the day the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of the Holy Trinity; they were released from captivity.

"There is no way the Sisters of St Louis could part with the amount they demanded for ransom. We are a religious congregation that depends on charity," it said.

The statement, however, denied reports alleging that a ransom of N2.5 million was paid to secure their release.

"After 10 days in captivity and several intimidating phone calls from their abductors, the sisters and the driver were released without any ransom.

"We wish to use this medium to correct these false stories, and we want to categorically state that no ransom was paid by the Church or by our Congregation.”

The statement said that the Church played a vital role through her prayers, support and guidance during the period.

"We express our gratitude to Bishops Felix Ajakaye of Ekiti, Albert Fasina of Ijebu Ode and Jude Arogundade of Ondo for their support.

"We thank the priests, religious and lay faithful in Ondo Diocese who devoted the whole of Friday May 20, 2016 to
praying for their release," it said.

It also appreciated Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, the Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase and other security personnel in the country for their professionalism in handling the case.

"The remarkably professional manner with which they waded into the matter shows that, given the right motivation and equipment, our security agencies are capable of protecting lives and property of the citizens.

"We also want to thank the various media houses in Nigeria for bringing this story to the attention of the world,” it said.

NAN reports that the two sisters and their driver were kidnapped in Ondo State on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

The three of them were travelling from Kaduna to Ijebu-Itele, Ogun, for a programme when their vehicle broke down at Kajola, along the Lagos- Ore Road.

By the time a priest and a mechanic got to the scene to offer them assistance, the two sisters and their driver had been abducted.

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