From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Operatives of the Edo State Police Command have rescued five kidnapped victims and arrested two suspects in connection with the crime.
The Command also announced the recovery of arms and ammunition from the suspects, who were said to have carried out the abduction of the victims Friday evening.
Spokesman of the Command, SP, Bello Kontongs, in a press statement yesterday, said operatives arrested the suspects following a tip off that some hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers, had accosted a vehicle conveying a corpse from Lagos to Imo State around Ute River, Benin-Lagos bypass, where they kidnapped three occupants of the vehicle.
“On receipt of the information, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Egba Division, SP John O. Emmanuel, immediately swung into action, mobilised his operatives and the local vigilante group for immediate bush combing. They advanced into Ute forest. After hours of bush combing, they came across the suspected kidnappers. On sighting the police, they (kidnappers) opened fire on them (police). The team of operatives engaged them in a gun duel.
“The superior fire power of the police operatives made the suspected kidnappers to abandon the victims. However, two of the suspects were apprehended. They are 25-year-old Mohammed Ishaku, and Mubarak Wada, 26, while others escaped with bullet wounds into the thick forest.
“Three locally made guns, two live cartridges, two cutlasses and some charms were also recovered from the suspects,” the statement added.
It explained that three of the kidnapped victims conveying the corpse were rescued alongside two other victims earlier kidnapped, adding that all the rescued victims had been taken to the hospital for immediate medical attention.
Besides, the statement said effort was in progress to arrest other fleeing gang members.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Philip Obadu, has expressed appreciation for the timely information received from members of the public that led to the rescue of the victims and subsequent arrest of the suspects.
He assured that the command, under his watch would continue to strengthen the patrolling of various federal highways linking to Edo State, to curtail the activities of hoodlums.