And so our story continues with the third letter from the wife of a civil servant on the 3rd day of his abduction for ransom. She is writing to the kidnappers and things are just a little bit tense. This is the halfway point, perhaps you will now figure out the ending? First, the earlier letters:

Day One

Dear Mr. Bomb,

Thank you for your letter. Don’t worry, I’m not mad so I won’t go to the police. The bribe I paid them 2 years ago for my stolen car which they never recovered is still vexing me. I will keep this to myself. Please take care of my darling husband. He likes to eat soft eko in the night, if you can manage it. By now he must have told you about his injections. I know you may not believe him but it’s true: if he doesn’t take his anti-clot injections every night he will just die on your hands – and me I am not going to pay any ransom for the dead body of my husband o. I’m telling you now. It is true that the injection is extremely expensive, and I know you may not have budgeted for it when you were planning this kidnapping, but you have to spend money to get money, not so?  So please let me know what the ransom is and I will pay it. My husband is a good and a faithful man. We don’t have any children and he is all I have. As you instructed, I will stroll down Tosin street at exactly 9 pm, wearing a yellow headtie, and I will give this letter to the first beggar boy that comes carrying a yellow bowl and calls me ‘Ashawo’. But please now, can you choose another password next time? I don’t see the point of being insulted for nothing’s sake.

Mrs. Ashiru Koton


Day Two

Dear Bayo de Bomb,

Sorry o, I wasn’t trying to make fun of your nickname. It is just my lack of experience of things like this. Please forgive me.

About this kidnap business, is this ‘5,000,000’ naira or ‘50,000’ naira I am reading? I think the zeros are a bit too much. Didn’t you know I am just a housewife? Or don’t you people do any research before kidnapping somebody? Anyway, me I also read newspapers as well. The Surulere businesswoman they kidnapped three weeks ago, is it not one hundred thousand naira that they paid? My husband is an ordinary civil servant and you are asking me for five million! I know that the Surulere people took three months to negotiate the ransom down, but look, I don’t have three months. And with the cost of anti-clot injections,  you yourself don’t. Look, the truth is that I am going to Dubai this very weekend and my ticket is non-refundable, so just tell me your ‘last price’. Me, I am offering to pay fifty thousand naira. Please. I don’t have the kind of money that you are asking. If I try and borrow more than five thousand naira my friends will laugh at me. Unless I tell them the truth… first you say I shouldn’t tell anybody, next you say I should bring five million. From where? Does your own housewife keep five million under her bed? Don’t forget that my husband is just an ordinary deputy director in the civil service. Yes he sees a little bribe here and there like everybody else, but it is not the type that you are thinking.

Or do you want me to talk to my husband’s senior brother? He can raise two or three hundred thousand easily. The problem is that my in-law is a senior director at the Ministry of Police Affairs. That is the problem. If I tell him he will just be thinking, Police! Police! That’s the problem. And you know how efficient the police can be when the investigations concerns them personally. – If they arrest anybody, there is no court. They just settle everything with ‘accidental discharge’. I am sending my savings passbook with this letter so that you can see the kind of money that my husband gives me every month. I am not complaining, mark you, because he pays most of my bills. Except that I don’t see the money in cash, that’s all. You know how you men are. Don’t say I’m teaching you your job o, but normally kidnappers will kidnap a child or a mistress or something, not the main man who can raise the money. Anyway, should I send you my trinkets? They are not real gold, but they are very, very pretty (and I know my husband will replace them when he comes back). If you agree, I can pack them up very well and give them to your beggar boy instead of your five million naira.

By the way, Mugu is not much better than Ashawo. I will answer Mugu this time, but for next time, let the password be Sisi Eko. This is not a good home-training you are giving your apprentices, I have to tell you: teaching them to be calling respectable women like me bad names like that.

Mrs. Ashiru Koton.


and now, for today’s letter:

Day Three

Dear Bayo de Bomb,

Hah! Look, I’m begging you on my knees, don’t castrate my husband! Are there not enough women in this world? Bayo de Great, what is really vexing you now? If it is that password of a thing, okay, call me Ashawo! If it is rudeness, ask my husband, this is how Ashiru Kotun talks… and if it is that other thing… who will you believe, a weed-smoking beggar boy or a respectable housewife like me? I was wearing a big yellow headtie with buba ati iro. If he saw a ganja-vision that looks like me, wearing green beret and black raincoat and trying to follow him, is that my fault? Am I James Bond to be changing dress in the middle of the road? That your beggar boy must be mad. I don’t know why you should send a ganja-smoker to do a serious job like this! Don’t be surprised if he finally runs away with the ransom!

Anyway, thank you for reducing your ransom to the final, final price of one million naira… And thank you for returning my passbook. Let us leave my Dubai spending money for now. I have told you the ticket is non-refundable. Even my hotel has been paid before I even got my visa. So am I supposed to fly to Dubai and sit in the hotel for 1 week without eating? Will you do that to your own wife? How can you think of that sort of punishment? How much is that chicken change spending money anyway, for you to put your eyes inside it? Despite that you are a kidnapper and I am a respectable housewife, with the things I did to get that spending money, we might still meet in hell! And then you want me to give you the money? Bayo de Great Bomber, let’s leave that chicken-change money for now, please.

But don’t worry. I have seen how to solve this problem. I don’t know how much money my husband has in the bank (you know how secretive you men can be!) but I am sending the cheque I tore from his cheque book, which arrived by post this morning. I have written my name and your one million naira final, final ransom. Let him just sign it and write the letter of authority. I am his wife and even though the money is heavy, the bank manager knows me. (If you go there yourself, you know there are plenty of cameras and police and whatnot.) I am sure I can cash the cheque for you, but you have to ask him if he has enough money there or not. Because I don’t like to go on foolish errands.

And please o, don’t useless my husband for me!

Mrs. Ashiru Koton.

There’s letter No. 3 for you! Now onto the game aspect of this deal: there’s a book prize for the closest guess as to how this story will pan out. I will blog a letter every day until the grand finale on Saturday when All Will Be Revealed… If I rack up 100 comments or more, I will start another story next Monday! Look forward to your comments…

Related Posts:
Part 1: published on 15th November, 2010.
Part 2: published on 16th November, 2010.
Part 4: published on 18th November, 2010.
Part 5: published on 19th November, 2010.
Part 6: published on 20th November, 2010

21 Replies to “The Ransom Letters (Part 3 of 6)”

  1. Stanley says:

    Interesting! Well i think mrs ashiru would abscond with the N1milion naira after her husband has signed the check.

  2. Stanley says:

    Am guesn dat
    mrs ashirun kotun plotted the kidnap to get that huge money from the husband

  3. chuma says:

    @Stanley. Well it certainly seems plausible … with a ‘runaway’ ticket to Dubai on standby…

    Of course back in real life, an escape to Dubai did not save ex-Delta State Governor Ibori and his allegedly stolen billions, he was nicked and trucked off to the UK for trial…

    As for the fictional Mr. & Mrs. Ashiru, we shall see. Thanks for weighing in.

  4. Yemi Soneye says:

    Its either that Mrs. Ashiru Kotun is delusional or she wants to spite her husband. I think more of the former. There was no kidnapping. There was nothing. No household wife will keep such a thing private. They are letters to herself.

  5. Chuma says:

    @Soneye; ‘no household wife will keep such a thing private’ – reminds me of a Toni Kan story: a man refused to heed a warning to keep an armed robbery secret; he got to the policestation and found that the desk sergeant was a gang member…

    I suppose the average spouse would do anything likely to save the partner’s life? But to return to the story, I suppose technically, these are just letters. They may well have been written by the woman with CID officers with Ph.Ds in Kidnappers’ Psychology at her elbow, advising her… who knows.

    We’ll see if you are right, thanks for contributing…

  6. Jeannie Brandt-Lietzau says:

    Saw a movie once titled “The Happening”. Was an old movie, filmed in black and white. A man was kidnapped and nobody wanted him back….not his wife, nor his business partner…..was a good movie.
    But I digress….
    I do not agree with Stanley at all. Far to obvious.
    The money is not the issue here….don’t think so. But, I will be danged if I know what is coming next.
    Seems to be a lot of comments in the letters are about the “mistakes” being made by the kidnappers. Almost like Mrs. Ashiro Koton is obtaining the upper hand. She is not doing all the running around, the kidnappers are finding themselves “following directions”

    Love the humor !

  7. Sandra C-Williams says:

    The plot thickens. Somehow I don’t believe the husband is not as innocent as he appears.

  8. Chuma says:

    Very clever, Sandra: two negatives cancel themselves out, therefore you do believe the Husband is innocent?

    Hmmm. Clearly you have a fifty percent chance of being right. Which is a lot safer than many more specific predictions…

    Is this pure intuition, or does this belief derive from any facts

  9. Sandra C-Williams says:

    The plot thickens. Somehow I don’t believe the husband is not as innocent as he appears.

    A typing error my friend due to using my phone and not the pc. Mr Koton is being deceptive! A womans prerogative nontheless to know these things but who really knows the mind of the writer? I await with anticipation the next installment

  10. Chuma says:

    @Sandra, so you ally with Ivor on that. We shall see. Next letter is only a few hours away…

    @ Jeannie, deep analysis and no commitment so far! Maybe after Letter no.4 you’ll show your hand? The Happening… don’t recall that name, but remember the film!

    Re the humour… in real life there is probably nothing humorous about a relative in the clutches of a kidnapper. But fiction does not have to replicate all the gloom of real life. In any case, friend of mine once told me of a bus stopped by armed robbers. One of the bags opened by the robbers contained the wig and gown of a lawyer-passenger on his way to court. One of the robbers donned the gown, decked himself out in the wig, and declaimed, ‘My Lord, I ask for adjournment!’ at which the victims broke out into laughter. So who knows…. there is also humour in true life crisis…

  11. Abdul Adan says:

    These guys won’t get a cent from this woman. She will be off with that ransom money. As for his injection expenses…they will have him pay it. Perhaps her last letter will say, ‘where i got the million, there was more…..”

  12. Chuma says:

    @Adan; So you also think she will abscond with the million, and thereby sentence her husband to death? You clearly didn’t buy her declaration in her first letter that he was her ‘darling husband?’

    No saying you are wrong of course… letter no. 4 is almost due,

  13. Abdul Adan says:

    I am not so sure there will be a ransom money. But, for one thing, she will end up with some money, that should be theirs. This will be an expensive mission for the kidnappers.

  14. Crispin says:

    Loving it. Even if it’s rather close to home. I like Mrs. Ashiru Koton’s pluck and I’m rooting for her.
    Here are bits from contemporary reality: In a hospital in Aba, two kids were kidnapped recently. Their mother, a cleaner at the hospital, rallied colleagues and neighbours and N10,000 was raised and paid to the kidnappers before the kids were set free. People have been ‘kidnapped’ in Aba and asked to bail themselves on the spot with as little as ‘recharge card’ (no joke, this) – these do not make the papers. In Akwa Ibom, the in joke is that what is happening in Abia is ‘retail kidnapping’ since the asking price for anyone kidnapped in Akwa Ibom starts at N25M while people are ‘kidnapped’ for as little as N1,500 in Abia.
    Back to the story: Someone is going to get rich. Someone is going to get effed. And someone might just get dead.

  15. chika says:

    hmmm… “darling” husband is just a front; the “ashawo” and “mugu” nicknames were chosen by the “kidnappers” for a reason, and when she talks about the “things” she has had to do to make the money, I think her husband is in on this scheme or someone else who is very, very close to her


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