Joe Effiong, Uyo
Daredevil hoodlums who specialise in kidnapping high-profile persons in Akwa Ibom State have been killed by the police.
The kidnappers were killed on Friday by the police when they stormed their hideout to rescue a foreign national, Gassan Naser, of Zenith Construction Company, who was kidnapped last month at Mbiaya Uruan, in Uruan Local Government Area of the state.
The hoodlums had also killed a police sergeant, Mohammed Sarba of 26 Police Mobile Force, but attached to Zone 6 on special duties. He was attached to Naser of that fateful day.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Odiko MacDon (DSP), told the press that the three suspects who attempted to escape during the rescue operations were gunned down.
McDon said the hoodlums responsible for the kidnap had been involved in high-profile kidnappings/murders in the state over the years, including the kidnapping of the former director of NYSC, Gen. Edet Akpan (rtd), the killing of Edidem Robert James Obot, the late paramount ruler of Nsit Ubium and the killing of Dr. Udosen of St. Luke’s Hospital, Anua, among other heinous crimes.
After he was rescued by men of the Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigerian Police, on Friday, the expatriate said he was happy to regain his freedom after several days in the hands of his abductors.
“I was kidnapped at Mbiaya, Uruan on April 30, and a security officer with me was shot death before they carried me away in a Jeep,” Naser said.
He told reporters that for the duration of his stay in captivity, he was fed with banana and bread by his abductors.
Naser appreciated Governor Udom Emmanuel for his partnership with security agents to rid Akwa Ibom State of criminal elements which had led to the killing of some wanted, notorious armed bandits in the state.
While recommending the resolve of the new Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, to ensure Akwa Ibom is safe, he also thanked the Government of Akwa Ibom State for supporting the security services in the state to succeed.
MacDon who paraded the dead suspects added that they were also involved in a lot of robberies around Uyo and Calabar.
“I thank the government of Akwa Ibom State for its immense support to the command, sister security agencies for the synergy and the good people of the state for their continued partnership.”
Another suspect, Bassey Patrick, was also paraded in connection with stealing and vandalisation of electrical installations.
He was said to have led “security operatives to Onitsha Electrical market in Anambra State where three transformers vandalised and stolen from Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Science and Technology were recovered. Also recovered, were two transformers suspected to have been stolen from other places.
The PPRO further stated that, “a notorious criminal, one Eneffiong, Michael Akpan, a.k.a “Character” ‘m’ who has been on the wanted list of the command for years, was robbing and terrorizing the people.
“On sighting the operatives, he engaged them in a gun duel and was gunned down. One locally-made pistol, one live cartridge and an expended cartridge were recovered from him.
“Following a tip-off, SARS Operatives arrested the leader of a five-man robbery gang, one Isaiah Ekpenyong, ‘m’ who robbed their victims of laptops computers, seven phones, and the sum of N300,000, at Obio Etoi community, Uyo on 25/4/2019.
“Today again, on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Command, Zaki Ahmed, let me assure the good people of the state that the command will continue to maximally perform its responsibility as the lead agency in internal security by protecting lives and property, proactively prevent, detect and apprehend offenders of heinous crimes in the state.