Authorities in Edo State say two village chiefs have been arrested in connection with the January 7 train attack which resulted in the kidnap of 20 passengers at the Igueben train station.
The state Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, stated that seven other suspects had also been arrested in connection with the incident, adding that two remaining passengers in captivity had also been rescued by security agents.
The government spokesman disclosed this shortly after the state executive council meeting in Benin on Wednesday.
“The success story in the kidnapping is that five persons and two village chiefs have been arrested in connection with the incident and they are helping with investigations,” Nehikhare said.
When asked to give the names of the village chiefs, he said further details should be sought from the police.
READ ALSO: Last Two Victims Of Edo Train Attack Rescued
However, the state police spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor could be reached for details as his phone was switched off.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, resolved to observe a minute of silence in honour of a police officer, DSP Michael Adams, who died in an operation to rescue President of the Customary Court, Mrs Precious Aigbonog, from her abductors in Edo State.
The House also urged the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to deploy more Mobile Police personnel in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State, while urging the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General, Farouk Yahaya, and the IGP to set up a Nigeria Army barracks or a Forward Operating Base and a Police Mobile Force Base, respectively, within the district.
Reps demand security
The House further mandated the Committees on Army and Police Affairs to ensure compliance with the resolutions and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
The resolutions were sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by a member of the House from Edo, Sergius Ogun, titled ‘Need to Beef Up Security Formations in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State.’
Moving the motion, Ogun noted that Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitutions provides that the security and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of the government, adding that the National Assembly is empowered to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation or any part thereof, as enshrined in Section 4(2).
He said, “The House is worried about the spate of kidnappings, armed robbery attacks and insecurity generally in the country, especially in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State, thus leading to the loss of lives and properties, and is causing palpable fear and apprehension among residents.
“The House is informed that on Monday, January 9, 2023, Mrs Precious Aigbonog, the President of Customary Court was kidnapped on her way to court around Ugoneki Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State.
“The House is also informed that a former member of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Festus Edughele, was also kidnapped on January 9, 2023, at Ugoneki town on his way to board a flight to Abuja in Benin City.
“The House is disturbed that these sad incidents occurred two days after 20 train passengers were kidnapped at the Igueben Train Station while waiting to board a train to Warri, Delta State.”
The lawmaker said while the efforts by the team of Nigeria Army and Nigeria Police Force, which led to the rescue of Aigbonog, Edughele and 18 out of the 20 train passengers who were kidnapped, the House is “saddened by the death of DSP Michael Adams during the rescue operation” by the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police as a result of the gun duel with the kidnappers.