A press statement from the Edo State Police Command signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kontongs Bello, on Wednesday night, stated that “operatives of the Edo State Police Command acting on credible information that armed hoodlums at Okwo along the Benin/Auchi highway were shooting sporadically on members of the public plying that road in a desperate bid to kidnap them.
“On receipt of the information, the DPO Ehor, Benefa Benjamin, immediately mobilized his team of operatives and the local vigilante team to the scene. The hoodlums on sighting the team retreated back to the bush.
“One Marvelous Eze, the only occupant of one Lexus 350 salon car with Reg. No-RSH 73O BL, was rescued with bullet wound on his left shoulder sustained from the hoodlums.
“The victim was immediately rushed to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital for treatment, while bush combing is ongoing for possible arrest of the hoodlums.
In a related development, also in the early hours of Tuesday, February 2, 2022 credible information “was received from the Chairman of the Irrua unit of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria that a black Toyota Venza car with Reg. NO SKL 394 TD coming from Benin to Ekpoma was fired at from the bush by suspected hoodlums.
“The yet to be identified driver/occupants were suspected to have been kidnapped into the bush. On receipt of the information the CSP Benefa Benjamin, swiftly mobilized and led a combined team of police, military and local vigilantes on bush combing.
“The hoodlums sensing danger of been apprehended, broke into small groups to beat the security team while the team also mobilized, coordinated and ambushed the hoodlums at Obadan and Ebute axis of Ehor.
“ASP Obaro Samuel attached to state Highway Patrol, Ebute, together with the military sighted the armed hoodlums who immediately opened fire. In the ensuing gun duel, the superior fire power of the team of operatives hit three of the hoodlums whom were fatally injured and were rushed to Iruekpen General Hospital where they were confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.
“Items recovered from the kidnappers on searching them include: one Ak 47 rifle with 14 live ammunition; one English Pump action gun with 18 live cartridges; one UBA ATM card; two wrist watches and cash of one thousand five hundred naira (N1500).
“The vehicle was towed to the Police Station for safe keeping while rescue mission is still going on.
“Commissioner of Police Edo State Command, Philip Aliyu Ogbadu, while commending the show of gallantry exhibited by the operatives, promised that the Command will continue to work with relevant stakeholders and law abiding citizens to ensure a safe Edo State now and always.”