Men of the 2 Amphibious Brigade, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, yesterday killed one suspected kidnapper and arrested nine of his colleagues after a shootout at Omoku in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers State.
Army spokesman in the state, Major Ahmad Mansur Dikko, told journalists in Port Harcourt that the suspects were arrested while attempting to evade a stop and search exercise mounted by soldiers, who initially did not know that they were kidnappers.
Dikko rather than stop for the army check, the hoodlums opened fire on the soldiers, who returned fire, killing the driver of a Nissan salon car, with registration number Rivers AH 41 DBU, which the suspected kidnappers were moving in, and wounding the other occupants.
According to Dikko, “Three out of them in the car were shot and wounded while two ran away. Their names were revealed by those apprehended. They were traced, located, and also arrested. However their leader, one Mr. Abati, is still at large.”
The army spokesman stated that it was after the arrest of the hoodlums that it was discovered that they had recently kidnapped one Mr. Osah Mbadiwe Collins, who a resident of Omoku.
Dikko said Collins’ car was hijacked by the gang who forced him out and drove him blindfolded to Ahoada, where they hung him upside down for four days.
He said although kidnappers did not beat their victim, they made him pay a ransom of N5 million and went to drop him at his town on Sunday, pointing out that it was after they had dropped him off that they ran into the army checkpoint.
Items recovered from the hoodlums included one AK 47 rifle, eight rounds of live ammunition, one machete and three short gun cartridges.