Six victims kidnapped along the notorious Benin/Ekpoma Expressway were rescued on Thursday by the men of the Edo State Police Command, while two suspects who were part of the criminal gang that took part in the abduction were also arrested.
The victims were said to have been abducted at about 6.40pm on Wednesday while travelling in a Toyota Sienna Bus from Ekpoma to Benin.
The state’s Police PRO, SP Kontongs Bello, in a press release on Thursday said that Abdulkarim Kazeem and Odoh Chukchekua, who are both aged 40, were arrested for their roles in the kidnap.
The statement read, “On 07/07/2021 at about 18.40hrs, operatives of Edo State Police Command, Egba Divisional Headquarters got credible information from members of the public that a Toyota Sienna Bus with registration number EDO RRU 780 NE driven by Eric Ehiaguna and belonging to a private transport company on its way from Ekpoma to Benin was intercepted by hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers at Igue-Ozevbaru who kidnapped all the passengers in the process and forced them into the forest.
“The unrelenting DPO Egba Division, SP John Emmanuel swiftly mobilised patrol teams, safer highway, military and vigilante groups into the bush for immediate bush combing with a view of ensuring the safe rescue of the kidnap victims.
“The Police operatives’ team led by the DPO swooped on the kidnappers while leading the victims into the forest. The security operatives engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel around Obadan Forest. The hoodlums then abandoned all the victims including the driver and fled into the bush, while two of them were caught.
Meanwhile, CP Phillip Ogbadu warned criminal elements in the state to repent, relocate from the state or risk being arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.
He also appealed to the law-abiding citizens and the general public to go about their lawful businesses without fear of intimidation or molestation, assuring that the Police would not relent in its efforts to make the state safe for economic activities.