LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Benue State Police Command has arrested suspected kidnappers and rescued ten victims, including a medical doctor with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Makurdi, Dr Etito Obadiah, after spending ten days in captivity at Gaya village, Utange Council Ward of Kastina-Ala Local Government Area of the State.
The State Commissioner of Police, Okoro Alawari Julius, made the disclosure while parading suspects at his maiden press briefing at the police command in Makurdi on 22 May.
“On 13/05/2023, at about 1900 hours, information was received that Dr Etito Obadiah, a medical doctor with Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, was kidnapped at Judges Quarters, and his kidnappers had started negotiation for ransom,” he stated.
He added that during the investigation, a team of Operation Zenda JTF trailed the kidnappers to their hideout at Gaya Village, Utange council ward in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.
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“On sighting the police, the kidnappers engaged them in a gun duel which claimed the life of one of the kidnappers; three suspects were arrested, while others escaped into a nearby bush with bullet wounds.
“Ten kidnap victims, including the doctor, were rescued unhurt while items recovered from them include: one locally fabricated AK47 rifle with ten rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, two single barrel rifles, one locally made barrette pistol loaded with three rounds of .9mm live ammunition and two military uniforms” were recovered from them.”
The Commissioner further disclosed that the police foiled a kidnap attempt and recovered firearms.
He said: “On 21/5/2023, at about 1200hrs, while police teams were on patrol along Makurdi-Lafia road, information was received that some gunmen had accosted a vehicle conveying passengers to Enugu at Daudu, with the intent to move the passengers to an unknown destination and request for ransom.
“The police swiftly moved to the scene. On sighting the police, suspects abandoned their victims and took to their heels. They also abandoned a bag containing military camouflage uniforms and wooden guns. Victims have since been released to continue with their journey, while investigation is ongoing to arrest suspects at large,” he further disclosed.