Gunmen terrorising Birnin-Gwari-Funtua Road, Kaduna State, have abducted an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Adeniyi, and three of his family members.
Adeniyi is the Officer-in-Charge of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Zamfara State Police Command.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Adeniyi and his family were travelling back to Zamfara from Kaduna on Wednesday when the gun-trotting men flagged down their Toyota Hilux.
The gang reportedly dragged them from the vehicle and whisked them away in another vehicle.
The identities of the family members had yet to be ascertained.
Our correspondents learnt on Thursday that the kidnappers had communicated with their relatives, demanding N30m ransom for their release.
Apart from the ACP and his family, it was learnt that a police officer and three others on a bus were abducted the same day on the road.
It was gathered that several police units, including the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Unit and Anti-Kidnapping unit, had been deployed to rescue the victims.
A source told PUNCH Metro that the Toyota Hilux had been recovered by the police, adding that the kidnappers were criminals dislodged from Niger State.
“The ACP was returning to his duty post in Gusau, Zamfara State, on Wednesday with his family members when the gunmen struck along the Birnin-Gwari-Funtua Road and whisked them away. He is the OC, SCIID of the state police command. Only the vehicle has been recovered.
“Another police officer was abducted with three others while travelling in a bus to Birnin Gwari on Wednesday. A police patrol team got information that some travellers on the bus had been abducted, they chased the kidnappers, but I do not know whether the victims have been rescued or not.
“A popular businessman from Birnin Gwari, known as Danhaza, and his driver were also abducted three days ago while travelling on the same road to Kaduna,” the source said.
A police source disclosed to one of our correspondents that the kidnappers of the ACP and his family members had demanded a ransom.
The officer said the Force had got some leads on the abductors, noting that the victims would soon be freed.
The source said, “The police have information on the abductors, but I can’t tell you much for now so as not to jeopardise rescue operation. They are criminals we dislodged from Niger State. They are demanding about N30m ransom, but I can assure you that we will rescue the ACP and his family safely.
As of the time of filing this report, the Kaduna and Zamfara states Police Public Relations Officers, Muktar Aliyu, and Shehu Muhammad, could not be reached for comments as their phones indicated that the lines were not available.
• Catholic priest abducted in Edo
Meanwhile, some gunmen have also abducted a Catholic priest in the Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The priest, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Adorolo, was said to be the parish priest of St. Benedict Catholic Church in Okpella.
It was learnt that Adorolo was kidnapped along the Auchi-Okpella Highway on Wednesday, three days after the head of the Ogba Zoo and Nature Park, Mr. Andrew Ehanire, was whisked away by another set of gunmen.
The kidnappers were said to have taken advantage of the bad spots on the road to forcefully take away the reverend father at about 6pm.
Efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Moses Nkombe, were unsuccessful.
Nkombe, who had vowed never to speak to The PUNCH as long as he remained the PPRO, neither picked calls made to his mobile phone nor responded to a text message sent to him.
But the Bishop of Auch Diocese, Most Rev. Gabriel Dunia, confirmed the incident on Thursday.
Dunia, who spoke at a press conference in Auchi, stated that the priest was returning to his parish when the incident occurred.
The bishop said, “The abductors have contacted the church and demanded a ransom, but the church is not a profit-making organisation. We call on security agencies to ensure the release of the priest.
“The diocese is calling for an unconditional release of the priest. We are holding a mass for the unconditional release of the priest.”
Police rescue kidnap victim
The Cross River State Police Command has rescued a 22-year-old woman, Bassey Happiness-Okon, who was abducted by some gunmen while returning from her business centre on Marian Road, Calabar.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, said Happiness-Okon was rescued on September 27 during a stop-and-search operation.
Inuwa said, “On September 27, we intercepted a Toyota Camry along Atimbo by Mountain of Fire junction. When my men stopped the car for searching. The four occupants inside the car fled.
“On searching the car, we found a female victim inside with her face covered with mask and we also recovered one locally-made pistol inside the car. Investigation is ongoing to arrest the fleeing bandits.”
The commissioner also paraded 17 suspects arrested for various offences in the state.
Inuwa said the command also arrested three suspected cult members on September 19,
Source; The Punchng