By Osahon Osahon
Nine travellers who were reportedly abducted on Sunday morning along the Benin-Auchi Road around Igieduma/Ehor section of the highway in Edo State have regained freedom from their abductors.
The victims were rescued through the efforts of police operatives from Ehor Division of the Edo Police Command hours the incident took place.
The kidnapped victims comprising three males and six females were abducted around 7:35am on Sunday when the 14-Seater Toyota Hiace Bus they were travelling with was forcefully hijacked by the arms wielding hoodlums.
The incident occurred at Igieduma village along Benin-Auchi Road when the victims were travelling from the polytechnic community of Auchi to Benin, Edo state capital.
A statement on Sunday evening by the spokesman of the Edo police command, SP Kontongs Bello, confirmed the release of the victims.
Bello said the hoodlums were forced to abandon their captives following urgent rescue efforts by its operatives from Ehor police station who combed the neighbouring bushes in the area for the kidnappers.
The statement said the gunmen who have already moved the victims into Igieduma forest reserve had no option but to release them owing to the superior power of the police operatives.
“Today 4/7/2021 at about 0735hrs, acting on credible information from members of the public that a 14 Seater Toyota Hiace bus white in colour with Reg. No. XA 525 KRF driven by one Karimu Momoh ‘m’ age 40yrs belonging to a private company heading from Auchi to Benin was intercepted by a group of hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers at Igieduma village along Benin-Auchi Road.
“On receipt of the information, the DPO Ehor Division, CSP BENAFA BENJAMIN immediately swung into action, mobilized his team of Police operatives from Ehor Division of Edo State police command, other sister agencies and vigilante group for immediate bush combing. They moved into Igieduma forest reserve.
“The suspected kidnappers on sighting the Police and other team members opened fire. The superior fire power from the team of police operatives made the suspected kidnappers to abandon the victims and escaped with bullet wounds into the thick forest.
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“Meanwhile, nine (9) kidnapped victims, (3) males, six (6) females were rescued unhurt. Bush combing still on going for possible arrest of the hoodlums/suspected kidnappers”, the statement explained.
The Edo Police Commissioner, according to the statement, appealed to communities lying along the stretch of Benin-Auchi Road to collaborate with the state command in its renewed efforts to fight criminality in the state.
“He (Commissioner of police) further stated that the Command will not relent in its effort in combating crime and criminality in Edo state”, the statement further added.