The Police in Cross River State have secured the release of eight of the nine travellers abducted on Ogoja-Ikom Highway on Tuesday.
Spokesperson of the Cross River State Police Command, SP Irene Ugbo, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria.
Ugbo, who spoke in Calabar on Wednesday, said before the rescue of the eight, the ninth traveller had managed to escape from the abductors
She also dismissed the insinuation that the attack was carried out by herdsmen.
She said: “Eight of the victims are now in safe hands while the ninth person escaped.
“Reports that the kidnap was carried out by herdsmen are untrue.
“It was purely an armed robbery incident.”
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Sule Balarabe, who confirmed the abduction of the passengers on Tuesday, could not give the specific number of victims on the day of abduction.
Balarabe had immediately deployed a tactical team, including men of the Anti-Kidnap Squad, to the area.
An eyewitness had also told NAN on Tuesday that nine persons were abducted by the gunmen on the highway between Okomita and Uyangha communities, near Calabar.
The gunmen were said to have emerged from the forest and shot at vehicles to force them to stop.
The eyewitness said some passengers in the vehicles targeted sustained gunshot injures, while the assailants moved others into the forest.