By Sola Shittu
BENIN – Four suspected kidnappers were on Wednesday shot and killed by men of the Edo State police command.
They were killed in a hot exchange of fire between them and the police.
The PUNCH gathered that the kidnappers were on a kidnapping trip when the police ran into them at Ogbachi River on the outskirts of Benin.
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Muhammed, who confirmed the incident to journalists in Benin, said his men would have been badly hurt in the ambush if they were not on the alert.
“It is not a case of gunning down the kidnappers; the police officers were ambushed but our men were at alert and responded quickly and swiftly and killed four of the kidnappers in the course of the attack while others escaped with gunshot injuries.
“Our men were at alert; otherwise, it would have been a different story on our part,” he said.
The killing of the four kidnappers is coming on the heel of a reported robbery and killing of two commercial motorcycle riders in the Etsako West Local Government Area in the early hours of Wednesday in Auchi.
A police source told The PUNCH that two suspected kidnappers in the custody of the police were leading some detectives to their armoury said to be located in a bush after Ogba River on the outskirts of Benin when members of the gang who were said to be lurking in the area apparently, preparing for an operation, attacked the policemen.
“In the process, four of them were killed while others who were said to be on standby in a boat fled into the river.
A police source said the gang was preparing to carry out a kidnap when the police encountered them on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary, Etsako West Chapter, Automated Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairers and Riders Association of Nigeria, Momodu Kassim, who confirmed the killing of two of its members in three days said they were in a meeting with the Area Commander of Police in Auchi to assess the security situation.
“They killed another one today (Wednesday) that we have just gone to bury; he was an Hausa boy and he just bought the new okada about two weeks ago. He was attacked near old Prison Quarters near NYSC secretariat area. They killed him and went away with his bike,” he said. (Punch)