June 21, 2024

Police rescue youth leader from gunmen, nab banker’s kidnappers

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Odahiekwu Ogunde, Yenagoa

Operatives of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) have rescued a Bayelsa youths’ leader, Comrade Ebitimi Ododoa, from gunmen at Ikebiri 1 community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

It was gathered that the soldiers on Wednesday thwarted the attempt to abduct Ododoa, a ranking member of the Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), by some gunmen suspected to be loyal to a known militant leader at Ikebiri.

It was also learnt that six gunmen armed with high calibre weapons, had stormed the Ikibiri 1 community to abduct Ododoa over his alleged disregard for a militant kingpin and accused him of working with the military to counter rising crude oil theft in the area.

MOSIEND’s Chairman, Olodia Clan, Comrade Perekebuna Matthew, confirmed the incident to newsmen on Wednesday in Yenagoa.

“The gunmen invaded Ikebiri community with a speedboat with a power bike inside it. The military got the information and countered them. They ran away but abandoned the speedboat and power bike.

“They later came back and abducted Ebitimi Ododoa and took him to the bush. They beat him to an unconscious state and left him for dead at the waterfront. The Nigerian Army was able to rescue him and took him to the hospital. We are hopeful he is going to be fine,” Matthew said.

Operation Puff Adder operatives of the Bayelsa State Police Command have also arrested two suspects concerning the abduction of a top executive of Premium Trust Bank (PTB) in the state.

The police team led by SP Chris Nwaogbo were said to have arrested two suspected members of a four-man kidnap gang allegedly involved in the June 30, 2022 kidnap of Danjuma Emeije, Senior Manager, PTB, at Okaka in Yenagoa metropolis.

It was gathered that the kidnap suspects reportedly collected N60m ransom over Emeije’s abduction.

A cybercafé owner, Kingsley Innocent, 31, an indigene of Egbu community in Etche, Rivers State, and Godlive Donald, 24, an indigene of Omoku, Rivers State, who claimed to be Rivers police informants, were reportedly arrested by the police in connection with the banker’s abduction.

The blue Toyota Corolla vehicle used for the dastardly operations was also recovered by the police.

A close relative of the banker, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the arrest of the suspects.

He said: “When Danjuma Emeije came back from the Operation Puff Adder’s office in Yenagoa, he was visibly shaking after seeing those involved in his horrifying kidnap.”

A spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, SP Asinim Butswat, said: “Investigation is ongoing and the police are making progress.”

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