By Nkasi Kolie
Benue State Police Command has confirmed the killing of three suspected kidnappers and the rescue of two kidnap victims on Monday.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, said five other suspects who were linked to the kidnap of the Commissioner of Lands and Survey, Bernard Unenge, and her driver were also arrested and currently cooling their heels in police detention.
Mrs. Ann Unenge and her driver were, last Thursday, abducted in Makurdi, the state capital.
In a statement, on Monday, the PPRO said: “Five suspects were arrested on 1/8/2021 and three died from gunshot injuries during the rescue mission. Mrs. Ann Bernard and one other person were rescued.
“Those five suspects were trailed and arrested at Welfare Quarters, Makurdi, and one locally made gun was recovered from them. Some suspects are still at large and are being trailed.
“One AK47 rifle fully loaded with a double magazine and two double barrel guns fully loaded with ammunition were recovered from the suspects.”
She added that the rescued victims who received gunshot injuries during the kidnap were currently receiving treatment at Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi.
At the time of filing this report, the house that was used as hideouts by the kidnap syndicate was being demolished following the directives of the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, to that effect.
Speaking while the dead bodies of the suspected kidnappers were being paraded at the Police Headquarters in Makurdi, yesterday, Governor Samuel Ortom commended the police for a job well done and said the feat would send a strong message to other criminals that Benue is not a haven for them.
“I am here at the Police Headquarters to commend the AIG and the immediate past police commissioner and Operation Zenda who came together to crack these Pharaohs that have been terrorising the state in the last few weeks.
“They have been able to apprehend the kidnappers after a heavy gun duel. They also succeeded in rescuing the commissioner’s wife and her driver. We will not give up despite all the challenges,” the governor stated.
Ortom also directed that the owner of the house that was used as hideouts by the kidnappers be arrested and the house be demolished with immediate effect.