Gunmen have kidnapped three lawyers around the Ehor axis of the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Abuja road, the Nigerian Bar Association confirmed on Wednesday.
The victims – Fred Aburu, Israel Unurierume, and Eda Gbejule – were on their way from Warri, Delta State to Sabo-Gidda Ora High Court with their driver, Kome Esike, when they were abducted.
In a statement, the NBA Benin bar issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Edo State Police Command to rescue the lawyers unharmed and unscathed. They also tasked other security agencies to do everything within their constitutional powers and duty to see to the safe return of the four victims.
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Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command has disclosed that three suspected kidnappers were killed on Wednesday morning along the Ehor axis of the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Abuja highway following a gun battle between the suspects and security operatives.
The command in a statement said at it received information from the vigilante network chairman, Irrua early on Wednesday 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, and the yet-to-be-identified driver/occupants were suspected to have been kidnapped into the bush.
According to the police spokesman, Bello Kontongs, the DPO Ehor Division, CSP Benefa Benjamin swiftly mobilized and led combined teams of police, military, and local vigilantes on bush combing and about 1134hrs, ASP Obaro Samuel, attached to state Highway Patrol Ebute, together with the military sighted the armed hoodlums who immediately open fire.
He explained that in the ensuing gun duel, the superior firepower of the team of operatives hit three of the hoodlums who were fatally injured and were rushed to Iruekpen General Hospital where they were confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.
On searching them, the following items were recovered from the kidnappers: one AK-47 rifle with 14 live ammunition, one English Pump action gun with 18 live cartridges, one ATM card, two wristwatches, and cash of N1,500.