The Imo State police command has rescued a 72 year-old man; Mr Emmanuel Ujagba who was alleged to have been kidnapped by some unknown gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in Umuebele Okporo in Orlu Local Government Area.
While parading the bodies of the suspected kidnappers at the Command Headquarters in Owerri the Imo State capital, the Imo State Commissioner for Police; Mohammed Katsina speaking through the Deputy Public Relations Officer; Mr Elvis Abanga said when the information reached them that a 72 year-old man was kidnapped in his residence, the ambush squad of the command immediately went into action to rescue the old man alive, but the Police had to engage the suspected kidnappers in a gun duel and in the process three members of the gang were gunned down while one of them escaped with serious bullet wound.
He added that items recovered from the hoodlums are 2 AK 47 rifles, one single barrel gun cut to size with 2 live cartridges and 120 expended ammunition.
He however cautioned members of the public to be vigilant and remain calm as the Imo State Police command under the leadership of Commissioner of Police Mohammed Katsina is determined more than ever to combat crime and every other criminal related activities in the state.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said it is deeply saddened by the death of its national vice chairman and former deputy governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chuddy Nwike in the hands of those who kidnapped him last month.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the killing after a ransom had been paid to secure his release, is the height of cruelty and represents a debasement of our collective humanity.
It prayed that God will comfort the family of the departed and strengthen them to bear this unquantifiable loss and appealed to the Federal Government to take a decisive action to end the worsening insecurity in the country.
”Dr. Nwike is the latest victim of this mindless act of kidnapping for ransom, which is fast deteriorating with the killing of innocent victims even after their families would have paid a huge ransom to secure their release.
”This senseless act has not spared anyone, high or low, male or female, rich or poor. The fact that it has continued unabated is a sad commentary on the state of security in our nation. It is high time the authorities acted to stamp out this heinous crime,” ACN said.
The former deputy governor who has been in the hands of his abductors for about three weeks.
Confirming the killing, the ACN says the kidnappers had contacted the late Mr Nwike’s brother Bufo, demanding a ransom of 30 million dollars.
However, a sum of 5 million naira was negotiated and delivered to a location in delta state through a courier.
The party’s statement says “rather than release the ex-deputy governor, the kidnappers seized the money and the courier on April the 5th, cutting off all communication until the body was found.”
The ACN has asked the police to track down the abductors and killers of the politician and ensure they are brought to justice.
The Imo state police command has invaded a kidnapper’s den in Eziachi community in Orlu local government area, where they arrested five kidnap kingpins and released three victims.
The Commissioner for Police, Mr Mohammed Katsina said, at a press briefing, that the information of the kidnapper’s hide-out was disclosed by one of the kidnappers Chika Nwaburije who was arrested few days ago while trying escape to Benin Republic.
He had been declared wanted by the Nigerian Police a week ago.
Mr Katsina added that as soon as Chika was arrested, he gave reasonable information to the police about their hide-out and where they keep their guns which enabled the police to apprehend the other members of the gang.
The suspects who confessed to be kidnappers disclosed that they also manufacture locally made guns and in the past six months have kidnapped 3 victims demanding up to sum of 1.5 million naira each.
However, Mr Katsina disclosed that the freed victims have been taken to the nearest hospital where they are receiving treatment.
Nigerian security forces surrounded the kidnappers of a French family in Northeast Borno state on Thursday in an operation to rescue the hostages, a Nigerian military source said.
French, Nigerian and Cameroonian officials earlier denied French media reports that the family, who were seized in Cameroon and taken over the border, had been freed.
The Nigerian military located the hostages and kidnappers between Dikwa and Ngala in the far northeast, the military source in Borno said, asking not to be identified.
Dikwa is less than 80 km (50 miles) from the border with Cameroon where the three adults and four children were taken hostage on Tuesday.
A senior Cameroonian military official declined to comment saying the matter was too sensitive.
Citing a Cameroon army officer, French media reported earlier on Thursday that the hostages had been found alive in a house in northern Nigeria.
“This is a crazy rumour that we cannot confirm. We do not know where is it coming from,” Cameroon Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary told Reuters by telephone from the capital Yaounde.
“What is certain is that the French tourists who were abducted are no longer on our territory. However, we are in touch with the Government of Nigeria to intensify measures to continue the search for them along our common border,” he said.
French gendarmes backed by special forces arrived in northern Cameroon on Wednesday to help locate the family, a local governor and French defence ministry official said.
Nigerian military spokesman Sagir Musa earlier also said the report on France’s BFM television of the hostages being released was “not true,” while Didier Le Bret, the head of the French foreign ministry’s crisis centre, said the information was “baseless.”
The abduction was the first case of foreigners being seized in the mostly Muslim north of Cameroon, a former French colony.
But the region – like others in West and North Africa with porous borders – is considered within the operational sphere of Boko Haram and fellow Nigerian Islamist militants Ansaru.
On Sunday, seven foreigners were snatched from the compound of Lebanese construction company Setraco in northern Nigeria’s Bauchi state, and Ansaru took responsibility.
Northern Nigeria is increasingly afflicted by attacks and kidnappings by Islamist militants. Ansaru, which rose to prominence only in recent months, has claimed the abduction in December of a French national who is still missing.
Three foreigners were killed in two failed rescue attempts last year after being kidnapped in northern Nigeria and Ansaru, blamed for those kidnaps, warned this could happen again.
The threat to French nationals in the region has grown since France deployed thousands of troops to Mali to oust al Qaeda-linked Islamists who controlled the country’s north.
The kidnapping in Cameroon brought to 15 the number of French citizens being held in West Africa.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson on Wednesday affirmed his position on the prescription of death sentence for kidnappers by signing into law the Bayelsa State kidnapping and Allied offences bill 2013. Assenting to the bill passed by the legislative arm of government, the governor said that he would not hesitate to sign the death warrant of any person or group of persons caught in the act of kidnapping and other related offences.
Mr Dickson said, “I like to say this, if you are involved in any act of kidnapping, let me warn you today, don’t come near Bayelsa. We have put measures in place. I have just a short while ago commissioned 15 fast moving patrol boats for use by our security forces to ensure maritime security and safety.
“If you try that, whether it is in sea-piracy or kidnapping, we are going to get you. We will make it difficult for you to succeed and whoever you are and wherever you are operating from, we are going to get you.
“I am aware that the security forces have made several arrests and most of the young men and women who were involved in the recent kidnappings that took place are presently under custody. Any of them found guilty of the offence will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“Today with this bill having been signed into law, we have entered a new phase in terms of the provision of the legal infrastructure that will support our fight against kidnapping and related offences.
“It is morally indefensible for young people for whatever reason to go under the cover of darkness, armed with illegal weapons, terrorize villages and old people in their homes and then forcefully abduct and rough handle old people and take them as an article of trade. That is morally indefensible.
“It cannot be justified under any circumstance at all. As a government, we are by this law sending out a strong message of condemnation and that we are prepared and determined to work with our able security agencies as a team together to flush out such criminals from within Bayelsa or wherever they are operating from.
“As I said earlier, and most people know that when I say something, I do it. I will not hesitate to sign a certificate,(warrant) of execution. “Anybody who doesn’t listen and commits any of the offences prohibited by this law, and who is tried and convicted will face the penalty.”
Gunmen on Sunday abducted the former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and a two-time Attorney General of the old Anambra State, Prof. Ilochi Okafor (SAN).
Okafor was also an aspirant in the 2011 Anambra State governorship election.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu confirmed that the incident occurred at about 8am on Sunday, at the victim’s residence on Pioneer Avenue in Independence Layout, Enugu State.
Amaraizu said Okafor was about leaving for church when he was whisked away by the suspected kidnappers.
He said, “He just opened the gate and was about driving out when he was picked.”
The PPRO said the police have been talking with some members of the Okafor family.
He said, “The police would soon uncover the reasons behind his (Okafor) kidnap and those responsible.
“We are already working on information given to us by members of his family and we would soon make our findings known to the press, but we would not divulge the sensitive ones so as not to sabotage our investigations.”
Meanwhile, a statement from Okafor’s family read, “With regret and great sadness, we wish to announce that Prof. Ilochi A. Okafor (SAN) has been kidnapped this morning at his residence in Enugu”.
The family of the kidnapped university don also solicited for prayers from the public to ensure his safe return “Prof. Okafor was a two-time Attorney General of the old Anambra State as well as a former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka. Please join us in praying to Almighty God for his immediate and safe release from his captors. Thank you.”
Four foreigners working for Netherlands-based Sea Trucks Group who were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Bonny Island, Port Harcourt, on August 4 have been released, the company and the navy said on Thursday.
The navy had previously said the gunmen abducted a Malaysian, an Iranian, a Thai and an Indonesian worker. The company declined to comment on their nationalities.
“At about 0755am on August 23, the four expatriates that were kidnapped during the attack on MV JASCON 33 belonging to Sea Truck on August 4 off the shores of Bonny were released by the pirates,” navy spokesman Kabir Aliyu confirmed.
Sea Trucks spokeswoman Corrie van Kessel also confirmed by email on Thursday that their staff had been released and were “OK”. She did not say if the company paid a ransom to the kidnappers.
Prince Monday Whiskey, who was kidnapped in front of his Udu Local Government Area residence in Delta State on Monday, has escaped from his captors by climbing through a window, police and union officials said Wednesday. The journalist, Warri-based freelancer Monday Whiskey, “escaped through the window of the house where he was kept,” the Nigerian Union of Journalists state chairman Norbert Chiazor said. According to Mr. Chiazor, Whiskey escaped when the guard looking after him left the building, some 10 miles (16 kilometres) from Warri. “Although he was chained in both legs, Whiskey managed to escape through the window,” he said, adding that no ransom was paid before the “miraculous escape of the journalist.” The chairman said the kidnappers made contact with his family and demanded a ransom of 10 million naira ($63,000, 48,000 euros). The police say no arrest has been made. Earlier, The Warri chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in a press statement condemned the abduction of the journalist and decried the failing state of security in the nation. “If a journalist can be kidnapped, it means nobody is safe,” the NUJ said in the statement signed by the Warri chapter chairman and secretary, Mr Michael Ikeogwu and Akpokona. “We condemn the lackluster and lackadaisical attitude of security operatives towards securing lives and property. We, therefore urged, them to strengthen their intelligence gathering mechanism in order to be more proactive” the union added.
The Imo state police command has arrested a gang suspected to be kidnappers and armed robbers who allegedly have been carrying out series of kidnaps and armed robberies in parts of the state within the past three months.
Parading the suspects at the police headquarters in Owerri, the state commissioner of police Abubakar Jingiri said the suspects were apprehended when a team of mobile police attached to the Ogwuta division, in Ogwuta local government area of the state got information from members of the public that the suspects were at their native’s doctor’s residence where they have come to collect charms.
“I am happy to inform the members of the public that with good information from good Samaritans, we have succeeded in getting some suspects in the police net,” Mr Jingiri said.
He said that the suspects have been on the run for the period of three months and have been terrorising several communities in Ogwuta including the police force.
“Consequent on their activities, I lost three police men,” the commissioner said.
Mr Jingiri said police officers were able to recover “three Ak-47, grenade launchers, 9 missles (rocket head), and ten magazines.” He said the robbers were arrested while riding on a black Toyota jeep
The leader of the gang Chibueze Okoronta from Isiala Mbano was arrested along with other members of the gang including a native doctor.