Kidnapped Enyimba Star Dayo Ojo, Benjamin Iluyomade Freed From Captivity

Enyimba midfielder Dayo Ojo and Abia Comets’ Benjamin Iluyomade have both regained their freedom three days after they were kidnapped can confirm.

Eight-time Nigeria Professional Football League champions Enyimba confirmed Ojo’s release from his captors late on Wednesday via Twitter.

Enyimba said the players were released following the concerted efforts of the Nigeria Police Force, Enyimba Football Club, the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers and their respective families.

Ojo and Iluyomade were kidnapped while driving on the Benin-Owo expressway last Sunday. The pair were travelling to Akure on a break, as the NPFL is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ojo’s Enyimba teammate Emmanuel James was also in the car but escaped.

The news of the kidnapping filtered in just hours after the death in a car crash of two footballers from Rangers International – Emmanuel Ogbu and Ifeanyi George.

Ojo represented Nigeria at senior level at the 2018 African Nations Championship, and at youth level with the U-17 in 2010.

He joined Enyimba in 2019 following a long stint with Sunshine Stars with whom he reached the CAF Champions League semi-finals in 2012.

Kidnapping is an ongoing security concern for Nigeria and football personalities perceived as well off are often the targets of kidnappers.

Katsina United head coach Abdullahi Biffo was kidnapped and released in January 2019.

Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu’s mother was also captured and held for six days in March 2019.

Former Super Eagles head coach Samson Siasia also saw his mother kidnapped for a third time and held in captivity for ten weeks before she was released.