By G9ija

A total of 13 kidnapped victims have been rescued in Edo State in two separate kidnap incidents.

In the first incident, the spokesman of State Police Command, SP Kontongs Bello, announced in a statement on Monday that its operatives in conjunction with the military rescued seven victims on January 9 along the Benin-Auchi road.

‎”On the 09/01/2022 at about 2111 hrs 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 (DPO), Ehor Division CSP Benefa Benjamen immediately mobilized his team of police operatives 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, ran to a palm tree with the driver’s name unknown on the steering unconscious who sustained a bullet wound on his head and thigh and one other female passenger identified as Awoma Jerry ‘F’ age 28yrs also have an injury on her knee and thigh as the result of the sporadic shooting from the armed hoodlums, both were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

‎”Further bush combing was carried out along the power line axis and at about 2308hrs the armed hoodlums were sighted crossing with some victims, on sighting the team of operatives the hoodlums engage them in a gun duel, but the superior firepower of the team of operatives overpowered them which led to the rescue of seven ( five males and two females) victims unhurt”.

The statement gave the identities of the rescued victims as 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.

‎It added that “During the process, one of the kidnappers was gun down, one locally-made gun, one cartridge was recovered from him while others escaped with various degrees of bullet wounds. Intensive bush combing is on with the aim of arresting other fleeing gang members”.

‎In the second rescue operation, the statement said “The operatives of the Edo State Police Command in collaboration with the local vigilante and hunters 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 ten (10) passengers along Igueben-Opoji road while conveying corpse from Taraba State to Iruekpen in Edo State for burial on 10/01/2022 at about 0045hrs.

‎”The divisional police officer (DPO), Ekpoma Division CSP Bukoye Oyegbemi, on receipt of the information, immediately swung into action, mobilized a team of police operatives, local vigilante and hunters to the scene and embarked on bush combing operation during which six victims were rescued unhurt. Efforts are still ongoing to rescue the remaining four victims and further arrest the suspected kidnappers”.

Following the rescue of the kidnap victims, the State Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, has commended the general public for cooperating with the police by way of providing prompt and credible information on the activities of criminal elements in the state.

He restated the command’s commitment for more robust patrol across the state especially on the highways and advised criminal elements to change their ways or risk being arrested and face the full wrath of the law.