Nigerian kidnappers seized a man sent to pay a ransom to secure the release of dozens of kidnapped children.
The old man was dispatched by his child’s parents after selling land and other property to raise 30 million naira ($ 73,000, £ 53,000).
But after his kidnapping, they felt hopeless.
The northern part of the country is in the midst of a wave of school kidnappings by criminals for profit.
Ransom is often paid, but this is a rare case where someone with cash is taken away.
The kidnapper called the school principal and said that the money delivered was not the agreed amount.
136 students were taken from an Islamic school in Tegina, Niger in late May.
A motorcycle shooter attacked the town, firing indiscriminately, killing one and injuring another.
When the people fled, the attackers went to school and caught the children.
Parents and school managers negotiated with the criminal and agreed to pay the ransom. They sold some of the school’s land and other property.
Principal Malam Abubakar Alhassan told the BBC that six people were sent in the correct amount to meet a kidnapper near the forest where the children were detained.
When they arrived, the shooters demanded that an old man, one of the group, take them to the forest so that they could count the cash.
But they later said they didn’t have enough money.
“My parents are now resigning because of fate. They say they can’t raise any more money. They are now relying on God,” Al Hassan told the BBC.
Since December last year, more than 1,000 students have been kidnapped from schools in northern Nigeria.
Hundreds of them are still in captivity, 28 of them 121 children taken from Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna earlier this month Released on Saturday night.
Authorities have been severely criticized for failing to confront the country’s widespread unrest, including the growing kidnapping crisis.