Friday, 4 December 2020

Kidnappers Takeover Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road ,Capture Several Motorists

The ever-busy Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road, came under heavy attack early Thursday morning as gunmen suspected to be kidnappers laid siege to the road and kidnapped a sizeable number of persons travelling on the route.

According to information made available , the gunmen were said to have first attacked a commercial bus at the Urhokosa/Obagie end of the road and took a number of the passengers into custody.

The suspected kidnappers who were said to be in groups, got a group to lead the first set of the victims to the bush, en route the kidnappers’ den, while a second group caused the driver of the bus to use the vehicle to block the road.

A trailer driver, who saw the blockade and suspected that it might be for the sinister operation of the men of the underworld, was said to have refused to stop and rammed his articulated vehicle into the blocked, killing two of the passengers.

Other vehicles which ran into the traffic jam, occasioned by the blockade, were attacked by another group of the kidnappers, who selected victims and marched them to join the earlier captured passengers.

A member of a vigilante group in the area, who acted bravely by confronting the gunmen, was shot dead by the kidnappers, according to a witness, who narrowly escaped into the bush while the confusion reigned on the road as the gunmen operated without any challenge.

The escaped victim, who claimed that he had to abandon his vehicle to run into the bush, added that he met some other persons who also escaped in the bush, just as he said that the gunmen were shooting sporadically for a long time without any resistance from the security agents.

Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road, from time immemorial, had been a den of robbers, kidnappers and other criminal elements. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhomhe, was kidnapped on that same route years ago.

Flashpoints for robbery and kidnapping on the axis have over the years been Urhokosa, Obagie, Ogbemudia Farm, Agbede, Aviele and the boundary between Edo State and Kogi State at Okepella and beyond.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the development.

“Yes, the command is aware of the kidnap, but we are yet to ascertain the number of passengers that were kidnapped. Unfortunately in the process, a member of one of the vigilante groups was killed during a gun duel with the kidnappers”, he said.

According to the PPRO, “The vigilante group in that community-engaged the kidnappers and one was killed. The effort is currently ongoing through bush-combing to free those kidnapped. Other information will be revealed as we progress”.

On the killing of the two passengers by a fleeing trailer driver, Mr Nwabuzor said he had yet to be briefed on that

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