OSHIOMHOLE LAUDS EDO POLICE
It was celebration galore in Benin City last month, as policemen from the Edo State Police Command foiled an attempt to kidnap a popular transporter at Ugbor area of the city.
Daily Sun learnt that a three-man gang of kidnappers invaded the house of the victim around 12.30 pm on July 25. After overpowering the guard, the armed suspects demanded the whereabouts of his principal. They later bound all the members of the family.
The transport operator quickly rushed outside and placed a distress call to the police. His vigilant neighbours also alerted the police.
The Divisional Police Officer and other members of the Anti-Robbery Squad quickly swung into action, jumped through the fence of the transporter's house and accosted the suspects. In the ensuing gun battle, the cops overpowered the suspected kidnappers.
One of the kidnappers who was said to have hidden himself in the ceiling of the house was also arrested by some policemen.
The following day, an August guest came calling at the Police Command. At 10.00am, the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole breezed into the command. He said he came to congratulate the police leadership on the successful arrest of the kidnappers who had been terrorising the state.
Oshiomhole, who expressed his happiness over the development, asked to see the suspects and they were brought to him. They confessed to the governor that they came from Port-Harcourt in Rivers State.
While applauding the performance of the police in the state, especially in the arrest of the kidnappers, Oshiomhole said he would continue to support the police. 'They have proved to be thorough professionals,' he said. 'I am happy I came here to see the kidnappers that are terrorising the state.'
Edo State Commissioner of police, Mr. David Omojola said the three suspected kidnappers were armed with two locally made revolvers when they invaded the residence of the businessman.
He recalled that the suspects tied up the security men in the house and demanded to know the whereabouts of the head of the family.
He added that while the kidnappers were busy with their evil operation, some people in the area alerted the police who moved promptly to the place. The suspected kidnappers were subsequently overpowered and arrested with bullet woumds, he said.
'We were able to recover money, handsets, two locally made revolver pistols and four rounds of 9mm live ammunition. We have declared one of their leaders, Joseph wanted. He is still at large', he said.
Our correspondent gathered that Joseph resided in Benin, and that he was the one that received the other gang members.
Those arrested included Junior Prince, 18, Sunday Philips, 21 and Abubakar.
One of the suspects, Junior Prince, told the reporter that they came from Port-Harcourt and spent two days in Benin before they carried out the operation.
'We started with armed robbery before we graduated to kidnapping and it was Joseph who gave us the information on how to kidnap the transporter. We carried out some surveillance before the operation but we didn't succeed,' he explained.
One of the residents who witnessed the operation, Godwin Mfon said the whole thing was like a piece of drama.
'We were shocked at the manner in which the kidnappers handled the gateman and the way they brought out their guns. So we quickly called the policemen who swung into action immediately. The cops had to jumped through the fence before engaging the kidnappers in a gun duel.'
Mfon said kidnappers and armed robbers had for long laid a siege to the area. The police boss, Omojola said investigation into the matter is still ongoing, saying the suspects would soon be charged to court.