Operatives of the Rivers State Police Command killed two known kidnappers, including a kingpin named ‘Occasion,’ during a shootout in a jungle in Rivers State’s Emohua Local Government Area
The command also stated that four people who were found blindfolded in the kidnappers’ den were rescued after two days in captivity.
Grace Iringe-Koko, the command’s spokesperson, confirmed this in a statement made in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Iringe-Koko noted that the kidnapping victims were rescued after operatives subdued the hoodlums during an exchange of gunfire.
Meanwhile, one of the casualties, a commercial driver who talked to newsmen in Port Harcourt on the condition of anonymity, said he was returning to Port Harcourt on a usual journey when he spotted an obstacle on the road caused by a massive tree trunk blocking the road.
He claimed that while driving a Sienna, an Audi automobile pulled out in front of him, and that as he considered reversing, some individuals emerged from the woods and shot bullets at his and the Audi’s tires.
He stated, “The men, numbering six, asked us to lie on the ground and later grabbed us and took us through strange bush paths as they noticed a police van approaching. The police officers shot several times, but we were taken too deep into the forest.”
He claimed the kidnappers tortured them and stole money from them through their ATM cards and their families.
The driver said, “They removed the sum of N800,000 from one of the victims’ accounts and N1.9 million from another. Throughout our stay, the kidnappers only gave us tiny pieces of bread and sachets of water.”
Furthermore, he revealed that the kidnappers blindfolded him and the three others all through their stay in captivity.
The police statement reads, “In the early hours of Wednesday, December 14, 2023, gunshots rang out as four blindfolded men scrambled in confusion.
“When the gunshots ceased, the four men were eased off their blindfolds and realized that they had been rescued by the police from an ordeal in which they had lost hope after spending 48 hours in the den of a notorious kidnapping kingpin.
“The policemen, while searching for the victims, discovered the camp of the kidnappers on the third day.
“They proceeded to conduct prompt but thorough surveillance to eliminate the incidence of collateral damage before engaging the criminals.
“In the confrontation that ensued, two of the kidnappers were killed, including the leader of the gang, Sunday Amadi, aka ‘Occasion’, who had had a N2 million bounty on him by the Chairman of Emohua LGA.”
Meanwhile, the state commissioner of police, Olatunji Disu, praised the command’s personnel for their professionalism and tenacity in combating crime and criminality.
CP Olatunji stated that the state police command under his supervision would go to whatever length to clear the state of criminal elements.