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Police begin search for five abducted persons on Benin-Lagos highway


Say kidnappers yet to contact families of victims
Edo State Command of the Nigeria Police, yesterday, said its officers were already combing the forests in search-and-rescue operations for five persons, who were abducted on Saturday on the Benin-Lagos highway.

The police also confirmed the killing of a student of the Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO), identified as Felix Olajide Sowore, younger brother of human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore by gunmen at 6.45a.m. on Saturday.

Spokesman for the command, SP Kotongs Bello, disclosed this, while fielding questions from newsmen in Benin City, adding that the late Sowore was attacked and killed after the gunmen ambushed a commercial bus and abducted five commuters.

He said the deceased has been deposited at Igbinedion University Teaching Hospital (IUTH) morgue in Okada, while efforts are on to rescue the five abducted victims.


“It has become necessary to inform members of the public because of the panic that the incident has created, especially among residents of Edo State regarding the killing of Sowore on September 4, 2021 about 6:45a.m on Saturday.

“But the police are on top of the situation since the incident happened. Officers and men of the police force have started combing the bushes, as the Commissioner of Police (CP) has directed the tactical team to join hands together with the Divisional Police Headquarters in Okada for the operation,” he said.

He also disclosed that the local vigilantes in the area, the police tactical team from the state command and the Divisional Police Headquarters in Okada were combing the forests in efforts to arrest the assailants and rescue the five kidnapped persons.

“Sowore was not one of the occupants of the bus from which the five were kidnapped. He ran into the incident while driving from Okada to Benin around 2:00a.m in the early hours of Saturday.

“He was just a victim. The kidnappers tried to stop him, but he refused to stop and in the process, the bullet hit his car and one of the bullets got him, and he died on the spot,” he explained.

Kotongs assured that the CP was doing everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators of the crime were arrested and those abducted rescued.

“Until now, the kidnappers have neither contacted anyone, nor the families of the victims, but the police are also trying to use tactical means to track the victims.

“We brought three occupants of the bus, who escaped and were hiding in the bush to the police headquarters and we have profiled them,” he added.


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