Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The military exercise code named Operation RAT RACE deployed in the North Central zone to smoke out hoodlums have recorded a huge success in Kogi State as four kidnappers were, on Tuesday afternoon, said to have been gunned down.
According to an witness account, soldiers invaded the hideout of the hoodlums at a forest along Okene-Ajaokuta highway, following a tip-off that a ransom was being taken to the hoodlums at their hideout.
The soldiers were said to have engaged the hoodlums in a shootout and rescued an Oil Magnate, Alhaji Otinau Momoh Jimoh, who is proprietor of ‘Always’ petrol station. He was also said to have been hit by the bullets.
The eyewitness account, however, said one of the soldiers on the operation was hit by bullets and died shortly after at a private hospital in Okene.
The soldier, whose name was not immediately known, was said to be a young operative who got wedded three months ago. His remains had been deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital, Okene.
The account also said one of the kidnappers was arrested from their hideout, while some charms and ammunition were said to have been recovered from him.
When the Army Public Relations Officer at the Army Records, Lokoja, Capt. Weri Finikumo was contacted, he refused to give a specific figure of casualty but said the operation was still ongoing stressing that the press would be briefed after the operation.
The rescued oil magnate was abducted in the front of a mosque in Okene at about 8:00p.m. on Sunday, February 19.