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Igbinedion varsity lecturer killed while attempting to escape from kidnappers

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The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed DanMallam, yesterday confirmed the killing of a lecturer at the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers.

DanMallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izevbekhai, was killed in an attempted escape bid when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.

It was gathered that the gunmen were operating near Okada junction along the Benin-Lagos highway when they abducted Izevbekhai and other passengers in the bus they were traveling in. The driver of the mini-bus was said to have escaped into the bush along with four other passengers.

“Unfortunately, one of the passengers who also tried to escape during the abduction was killed by the gunmen. The police went after the kidnappers in the bush and succeeded in rescuing the victims.”

He said the police were working on a new strategy, which entails taking the war to the kidnappers’ den in the jungle, adding that it is the best way to tackle the scourge.

Spokesman for the university, Mr. Jide Ilugbo, who confirmed the killing, described it as “barbaric.” İlugbo said the late Izevbekhai was a First Class graduate employed in the university in 2016. He said it was now dangerous to travel on the Benin-Lagos highway due to frequent attacks by armed robbers and kidnappers, adding that the trailer park before Okada junction was a hideout for criminals.

Meanwhile, the police in Ogun State have arrested a 52-year-old ‘herbalist’, Tayo Ogunmola, for allegedly attempting to defraud the police commissioner in the state, Bashir Makama. Spokesperson of the police in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed yesterday.

He said the arrest of the suspect followed a phone call he made to the commissioner, saying he was an old herbalist and had mistakenly sent a recharge card pin to the telephone number of the police chief. He, therefore, asked Makama to send the pin back to him.

Oyeyemi said the commissioner was familiar with the antics of the fraudsters and decided to play along with him. He said the police chief at the same time sent men of the Intelligence Response Team to track and apprehend the suspect.

“At a stage, the suspect, who was not aware that he was being trailed, was presenting himself to the CP as a Deputy Inspector-General of Police who is ready to assist the CP only if he can part with a certain amount of money, not knowing that the person he has been discussing with is a serving Commissioner of Police.”

Oyeyemi said luck ran out on the suspect as he was traced to his hideout in Araromi Phase 2, Ilogbo area of Ota, in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area, where he was promptly arrested. “On interrogation, he confessed to being a fraudster who had defrauded many unsuspecting members of the public of money running into millions of naira, out of which he built the house he was living in.”

Meanwhile, the state police chief has ordered the monitoring team to properly investigate the suspect with the view of arresting his other accomplices and arraigning them in court.


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