Barely five days after a cleric of the Methodist Church, Very Rev Kayode Akande, and two other church members, were kidnapped by suspected herdsmen in Osun, they have regained their freedom.

Rev. Akande, Bankole, an engineer and Omodunbi  were kidnapped around 7.15 pm last Sunday, while coming from a meeting in Ile-Ogbo, a community near Iwo town in the state.

The trio, according to the Methodist Bishop of Osogbo diocese, Rt. Revd. Amos Ogunrinde, were released on Friday by their abductors.

Prior to their release, local vigilante members, assisted by the Police, had combed the forest along Osogbo-Iwo road, searching for the trio.

A credible source in the church informed our correspondent that the victims have been reunited with their families.

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According to the source, even though Reverend Akande, Bankole and Omodunbi were not injured, they were seriously beaten while being held in the den of their alleged kidnappers.

However, it could not be confirmed if a ransom was paid before they were left off the hook, though the source said that a ransom was paid.

But Bishop Ogunrinde said in a telephone conversation with our correspondent that he could only confirm the release of the victims adding that he was not in position to say whether ransom was paid or not.

“All I can tell you is that our people who were kidnapped have been released. We are happy to receive them alive although they were seriously beaten, yet we thank God for their lives,” he said.

It could also not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report if any of the kidnappers has been arrested by the security agencies.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Osun State Police command, Folasade Odoro said a statement would be issued later by the Police authorities over the development.