Tony Osauzo, Benino
Operatives of the Edo State Police Command have arrested three serving soldiers and a civilian for alleged kidnapping and armed robbery.
The military personnel said to be on the police wanted list for a series of kidnappings in Agenebode, Fugar and other areas in the state, were arrested after a long investigation by the police.
The identities of the three military suspects were given as Corporal Collins Ameh 13NA/70/4960 of 3 Division, Jos; Lance Corporal Balogun Taiwo 13/NA/69/0369 of 35 Battalion, Katsina; and Private Evans Isibor 15/NA/73/1529 of the Artillery Brigade, Owerri on a special duty in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The civilian suspect arrested as a member of the gang was identified as Goodluck Igbenebor.
Corporals Ameh and Balogun were said to have kidnapped one Mr. Joseph Otono on October 30, 2019, in Fugar, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State and snatched his Toyota Voltron car.
The victim was reportedly released after payment of ransom by his relation.
It was learnt that luck ran out of the two soldiers when they were arrested by the police in Ehor, headquarters of Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State on their way to Lagos to sell the car.
The same gang had reportedly kidnapped a classroom teacher in Fugar, Mrs Catherine Izuagie, on September 9, 2019 and was released after payment of ransom.
Also, Private Evans Isibor who was posted to Maiduguri, capital of Bornu State, to combat insurgency along with other soldiers, was alleged to have kidnapped one Mohammed Hassan in Agenebode, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State on October 14, 2019.
He and his civilian accomplices, who are now at large, were said to have also collected ransom to effect the release of the kidnapped man.
All the suspects are said to have been identified by the victims as those who directly kidnapped and robbed them.
It was learnt that the police with the help of high-technical intelligence are now on the trail of other gang members now on the run.
It was further learnt that extensive investigation was ongoing, as the Edo State Police Command was said to be in contact with the military authorities.
Spokesman of the Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the arrest of the three soldiers and civilian, said the suspects being interrogated by the Command’s Head of SARS.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that three soldiers and a civilian have been arrested by the state command for kidnapping and armed robbery. They are currently being quizzed by the head of SARS, Richard Balogun,” Nwabuzor said.