The Edo State Police Command has rescued thirteen kidnap victims in two seperate incidents along the Benin-Auchi road.
Spokesperson of the command, Kontongs Bello, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, January 10, said the victims were rescued by a combined team of the police, military and vigilantes.
Bello said one of the suspected kidnappers was shot dead during a gun duel with the security operatives.
“On January 9, 2022, at about 9.11pm, operatives of the Edo State Police Command, in collaboration with the military, acted on credible information that armed hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers came out from the bush at Okwo Ogbemudia Farm Benin-Auchi Road and started shooting sporadically on unsuspected vehicles,” he stated.
“On receipt of the information, the Divisional Police Officer, Ehor Division, CSP Benefa Benjamen, immediately mobilised his team of police operatives and the military at Ehor to the scene where the combined team of operatives sighted a Passat GL vehicle with Reg. No. BEN 628 MS discovered to have veered off the road.
“The combined team got to a palm tree where the driver was already unconscious having been shot in the head and thigh. A female passenger identified as Awoma Jerry, 28, also had injury on her knee and thigh as a result of the sporadic shooting from the armed hoodlums. They were both immediately rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention.
“Further bush combing was carried out along the powerline axis and at about 11.08pm, the armed hoodlums were seen crossing with some victims. On sighting the team of operatives, the hoodlums engaged them in a gun duel, but the superior fire power of the team of operatives led to the rescue of seven (five male and two female) victims unhurt.
“They are Lucky Ebuade ‘M’, Flora Ebude ‘F’, ASP Joseph Okoh ‘M’, Tina Okiti ‘F’, Adamu Danusa ‘M’, Hassan Mohammed ‘M’ and Tolba Masamavi ‘M’. They have since been profiled and asked to continue their journey.
“During the process, one of the kidnappers was gunned down. One locally made gun and one cartridge were recovered from him while others escaped with bullet wound. Intensive bush combing is on with the aim of arresting other fleeing gang members.”
According to the PPRO, operatives of the command, in collaboration with local vigilante and hunters, also rescued six victims who were abducted on their way to Edo State for a burial.
“Acting on information that suspected kidnappers have accosted a Toyota Hiace Bus with Reg. No. AB 14 TR driven by one Abdullahi Adamu ‘M’ and kidnapped 10 passengers along Igueben Opoji Road while conveying a corpse from Taraba State to Iruekpen in Edo State for burial on January 10, 2022 at about 12.45am, the Divisional Police Officer, Ekpoma Division, Bukoye Oyegbemi, immediately swung into action.
He mobilised team of police operatives, local vigilante and hunters to the scene and embarked on bush combing during which six victims were rescued unhurt while efforts are still ongoing to rescue the remaining four victims and further arrest the suspected kidnappers.”
Following the rescue of the kidnap victims, the State Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, has commended the general public for cooperating with the police by way of providing prompt and credible information on the activities of criminal elements in the state.
He restated the command’s commitment for more robust patrol across the state especially on the highways and advised criminal elements to change their ways or risk being arrested and face the full wrath of the law.