4 Policemen Killed, As Gunmen Abduct Mike Ozekhome

By The Rainbow

Legal practitioner and rights activist Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN) was on Friday kidnapped by gunmen in Ehor local government area, along the Benin-Auchi expressway in Edo State. The incident occurred at 3:30pm.

An assistant superintendent of police, a police inspector and two other officers were killed in a gun duel with the rampaging kidnappers.

Ozekhome was said to be returning to his hometown Auchi in Etsako West local government area of the state when the incident occurred.

The slain police officers were trying to rescue him when the armed men struck.

The abduction of Ozekhome came after last week's abduction of some primary school teachers and pupils, vice chairman of Uhumwonde local government area Walter Aiwekhoe, and a pharmacist.

Police authorities had on Wednesday last week in Benin paraded 44 kidnap suspects who abducted three teachers penultimate week and collected huge sums of money before they freed them.

Also Aiwekhoe was on Monday kidnapped on his way to work, but later escaped at Obiaruko in Delta State.

Meanwhile, the inspector-general of police, Muhammed Abubakar, has directed the commissioner of police in the state, Mr Folunso Adebanjo, to fish out the suspects, just as he vowed to ensure that they would be brought to justice.

The police commissioner who confirmed the incident said:  'Operatives of the command led by DPO Ehor Division responded swiftly to a distress call at 3:30pm that unspecified number of armed men had blocked the Benin-Auchi Road by Ehor axis. However, the hoodlums ambushed the patrol vehicle and opened fire on them, prompting an exchange of fire.

'At the end of the gun duel, the hoodlums escaped with bullet wounds but not without their victim who was later identified upon search on his abandoned vehicle as Chief Ozekhome (SAN) and his driver. Regrettably, the command lost four officers in the encounter. We salute their rare courage and bravery for they fought and died as heroes for the cause of humanity. Their death shall not be in vain. We remain undeterred in our fight against armed banditry.'