Gunmen on Wednesday kidnapped five of those heading to the orientation camps of the National Youth Service Corps in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
The prospective Corps members were kidnapped alongside two others in the bus in which they were travelling.
They were said to be have left from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, but were kidnapped on the Owerri-Port Harcourt Expressway and taken to the Umuapu forest in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
The police, however, succeeded in rescuing the Corps members.
The Commissioner, Imo State Police Command, Dasuki Galadanchi, said the kidnappers established contact with the families of the corps members and demanded N5 million ransom.
Galadanshi identified the Corps members as Abiola Temitope, Olubisi Adekanmi, Jose Temitayo, Folarin Opeyemi and Shonibare Ademola.
The other two passengers kidnapped with them were Leonard Uzondu and Raymond Ojodahe.
Galadanshi said: “The victims were travelling from Ibadan to Port Harcourt.
“Five out of the seven of them are prospective corps members.
“They were on their way to the NYSC orientation camps in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States for the three weeks camping.
“They were kidnapped around 5am on Wednesday at Umuapu, on the Owerri-Port-Harcourt Expressway.
“The kidnappers took them to a forest and dispossessed them of all their belongings, including money, phones, ATM cards and voter cards.
“They compelled them to call their relatives at home to speak to them.
“Immediately contact was established, they instilled fear in the parents and demanded N5 million for their freedom.
“The operatives went into the bush and on sighting the officers, the kidnappers abandoned their victims and fled.
“We rescued them unhurt, but the hoodlums made away with their valuables.
“This is part of the dividends of community policing.
“I urge Imo State residents to keep sharing information with the police.
“We cannot do it alone.”