No fewer than nine commuters including three males and six females, under captivity, were reported to have regained freedom from their abductors during a face-off between the Nigerian Police and kidnappers in Edo state.
As stated, the nine victims, who had boarded a 14-seater bus before been kidnapped, were rescued by the state’s combined security agencies’ that trailed the abductors minutes after the passengers were picked from the bus.
Confirming the development to newsmen on Monday, Edo Police Command spokesman, Kontongs Bello, said that the security forces rescued nine kidnapped victims unhurt and without any ransom paid to the abductors.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) explained that the joint security operatives, after been alerted, combed the forests for possible arrest of the suspected kidnappers, saying our swift effort paid off because we could rescue them within 24 hours.
Bello, in a statement made available to newsmen, explained that the rescue efforts followed credible intelligence from members of the public that a bus that left Auchi for Benin City had been intercepted by a group of gunmen at Igieduma village along Benin-Auchi road.
He said: “On receipt of the information, the DPO Ehor Division, Benafa Benjamin immediately swung into action, mobilized his team of police operatives from Ehor Division of Edo State police command, other sister agencies, and vigilante group for immediate bush combing. They moved into Igieduma forest reserve”.
Bello narrated that on sighting the police and other members of the security team, the kidnappers engaged them but were overwhelmed by the superior firepower from the security operatives, forcing them to abandon the victims and escaped with bullet wounds into forest.
As part of the measures to tackle the menace of kidnapping in Edo, the state Commissioner of Police, Phillip Ogbadu, urged the general public, especially communities around Benin-Auchi road to continue to support the police.