September 28, (THEWILL) – A combined force of Akwa Ibom state police command and the Nigerian Army, have apprehended two suspected kidnappers terrorising people of Etim Ekpo local government area of the state and rescued five kidnapped victims.
The state Commissioner of Police, Olatoye Durosinmi, revealed this on Tuesday, in a press briefing held at the command’s headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, Uyo, explaining that the fest was achieved after a fierce gun battle between the hoodlums and the combined force men.
He said an Ak-47 rifle with ammunitions was recovered, while other suspects fled into the river during the gun duel with bullet wounds.
The commissioner listed those arrested by the police to include one Thankgod Ezekiel Udo of Ikpe Annang and Imo Okarafor John, a.k.a “Nkwokwo”, while those rescued include Miss Blessing Elkanem, 19, Mr Kingsley Elkanem, 23, Mrs Chioma Gabriella, 25, Mr Idorenyin Maurice Inim, 23, and Mr Uko Clement, 39.
He said the combined operation was necessitated by an intelligence information from a driver with Akwa Ibom Power Link Transit Company, one Victor Umana, based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The statement in parts, “On 25th September, 2022, the Command received a report from one Victor Saturday Umana, driver of Akwa Ibom Power Link Transit Company, based in Port Harcourt, that on the 23rd of September, 2022, being Friday, while conveying passengers from Port Harcourt to Uyo, that at about 9:21pm they were stopped at Abia Palm in Azumini by hoodlums who took over the steering and drove them to the bush, robbed them and kidnapped five of them.
The five kidnapped victims were taken deep into the forest at Ikpe Annang in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, their hands were tied and eyes blindfolded and demanded for twenty million (N20m) naira ransom each.
“Acting on credible intelligence, on 26th September, 2022, Operatives from Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo Divisions in conjunction with the Military, stormed their den, neutralised two of the kidnappers identified as Thankgod Ezekiel Udo of Ikpe Annang and Imo Okarafor John, a.k.a “Nkwokwo”, while others escaped with bullet wounds into the river.”
The commissioner of police said during the period, the command also recorded another feat with the arrest of two suspected robbers, while 7 exotic cars were recovered from them.
“On 20th August, 2022 at about 7:15pm, a dangerous gang of armed robbers responsible for most robberies and car snatching within Uyo Metropolis, attacked one Mr Kelechi Orji and family, along Nteps Supermarket by Oron road in Uyo, took him to an ATM and forced him to withdraw all his available cash for them and took away his jeep also.
“I directed my SWAT Operatives to apprehend the perpetrators. On 10th September, 2022, SWAT Operatives professionally trailed the hoodlums who are notorious for terrorising residents of Uyo and environs to their hid-out where a gun battle ensued, three of the gang members were fatally injured and gave up the ghost while on their way to the hospital, but not before mentioning one Chima Omelazu, 45 years, from Obingwa Local Government Area in Abia State as a receiver.
“The said Chima was later arrested on the 15th of September, 2022.
“So far, a total of seven vehicles were recovered, while efforts are ongoing to recover more.”
The recovered vehicles include one Toyota Highlander, one Lexus GX 460, one Toyota Rav4, one Lexus 350 model, one Toyota Camry and two others.