The Edo State Police Command has rescued 15 kidnap victims with one suspected kidnapper, whose gang engaged the police in a gun duel, getting shot to death.
The Command spokesperson, SP Bello Kontongs, in a statement on Monday said the combined team of the police, military and vigilantes acted swiftly to rescue the victims.
He said: "On the 09/01/2022 at about 21:11hrs operatives of the Edo State Police Command in collaboration with the military acting on credible information that armed hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers came out from the bush at Okwo Ogbemudia Farm Benin-Auchi Road and started shooting sporadically on unsuspected vehicles.
"On receipt of the information the Divisional Police Officer, Ehor Division CSP Benefa Benjamen immediately mobilized his team of police operative and the military at Ehor, to the scene where the combined team of operatives sighted a Passat GL vehicle with Reg. No. BEN 628 MS discovered to have veered off the road.
"The combine team got to a palm tree where the driver was already unconscious having been shot in the head and thigh. A female passenger identified as Awoma Jerry ‘F’ age 28 years also have injury on her knee and thigh as the result of the sporadic shooting from the armed hoodlums. They were both immediately rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention.
"Further bush combing was carried out along the powerline axis and at about 23:08hrs the armed hoodlums were seen crossing with some victims. On sighting the team of operatives the hoodlums engage them in gun duel, but the superior fire power of the team of operatives led to the rescue of seven ( five male and two female) victims unhurt. They are Lucky Ebuade ‘M’, Flora Ebude ‘F’, ASP Joseph Okoh ‘M’, Tina Okiti ‘F’, Adamu Danusa ‘M’ Hassan Mohammed ‘M’ and Tolba Masamavi ‘M’. who have since been profile and asked to continue on their journey.
"During the process, one of the kidnappers was gun down, one locally made gun, one cartridge was recovered from him while others escaped with bullet wound. Intensive bush combing is on with the aim of arresting other fleeing gang members," he added.
According to Kontongs, the operatives of the Command in collaboration with the local vigilante and hunters also rescued six victims who were abducted on their way to Edo State for a burial with the corpse
He said, "Acting on information that suspected kidnappers have accosted a Toyota Hiace Bus with Reg. No. AB 14 TR driven by one Abdullahi Adamu ‘M’ and kidnapped 10 passengers along Igueben Opoji Road while conveying a corpse from Taraba State to Iruekpen in Edo State for burial on 10/01/2022 at about 00:45hr.
"The divisional police officer, Ekpoma Division CSP Bukoye Oyegbemi immediately swung into action, mobilized team of police operatives, local vigilante and hunters to the scene and embarked on bush combing during which six victims were rescued unhurt while efforts is still ongoing to rescue the remaining four victims and further arrest the suspected kidnappers."
Kontongs stated that the Commissioner of Police, Philip Agbadu thanked the public for providing prompt and credible information on the activities of criminal elements in the state.
He reinstated the command's commitment for more roburst patrol across the state especially on the highways, while advising criminals to change their ways or risk being arrested to face the full wrath of the law.