By G9ija

The Nigeria Police Force says it has rescued nine police officers abducted by bandits on November 8 between Kankara town and Sheme in Katsina State.

It said two of the officers were currently receiving medical attention in a hospital, while the remaining seven were being debriefed.

The officers, all Assistant Superintendents of Police, were on their way to Gusau in Zamfara State from Maiduguri at the time of the incident.

The Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, explained in a statement on Friday that they were in mufti and unarmed when their bus came under attack by heavily armed men dressed in military camouflage but suspected to be bandits.

The reporters said that one of the officers was shot in the leg by the bandits after he and his colleague escaped from captivity. The bandits had demanded N100m ransom for the victims.

But the police said a covert operation to locate and rescue the officers commenced immediately they were discovered missing en route to their destination.

The Force said the delay in commenting on the incident was a deliberate decision aimed at protecting the integrity and confidentiality of the rescue operation and the safety of the officers.

It said the preliminary investigation indicated that the abduction of the officers was an opportunistic crime “as the officers were all travelling in mufti, unarmed and alongside other private citizens in the commercial vehicle.”

The statement titled, ‘All nine missing police officers rescued,’ said investigation into the incident has commenced.

It stated, “Two of the officers are currently receiving medical attention in a hospital, while the remaining seven are being debriefed. Follow-up investigation into the incident is still ongoing.”

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has reassured Nigerians that the Force is working assiduously to ensure improved safety and tactical presence of police personnel on highways as Yuletide approaches.”

However, reported that the police officers were released by the bandits after they collected a ransom following the intervention of some repentant bandits.

According to the reporters, the repentant bandits in Zamfara spoke with the Katsina bandits who subsequently freed the police officers.

The reporters further explained that “Although no ransom was paid for the release of the police officers according to the source, one of the rescued officers said he paid ransom before he was released.”