Kidnappers are daily becoming daring despite efforts by the police to curb their activities. Gunmen believed to be kidnappers have abducted four persons, among them a female sergeant attached to Ketu Police Station in Ikosi Ejirin Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
The policewoman, identified simply as Sergeant Moji, was abducted at Idofi village on Omu Road, Ogun State. This came as gunmen kidnapped a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Area C, Bridge Head, Asaba, Delta State, SP Valentine Mbalu, on Sunday. Sergeant Moji and three others were in a commercial bus before they were kidnapped about 10 a.m.
Sources told our correspondent that the Inspector- General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, had instructed Moji’s family members to send two persons to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, for a discussion on how to rescue her. Two days after the sergeant’s abduction, the kidnappers contacted her immediate boss, the DPO in charge of Ketu Police Station.
They demanded N5 million ransom. Recalling how Moji was abducted, a witness said: “The kidnappers blocked the road leading to the village and jumped out of the bush where they had been hiding.
They ordered all occupants out of the bus and marched them into a waiting speed boat.” It was learnt that the kidnappers pulled Moji by her hair and dragged her on the ground after they discovered she is a policewoman.
A source in the community said: “Since the incident, some police officers in the area are now afraid of going to their offices. Some of them who used to wear uniform while going to office, have started wearing mufti to avoid being abducted.” When contacted, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed Sergeant Moji’s abduction.
The PPRO, however, said Moji was abducted in Ogun State. But when contacted, the Ogun State PPRO, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said it had not been officially reported. But in Delta, Mbalu was kidnapped between 4p.m. and 5p.m. at Igbodo by those believed to be Fulani herdsmen. A source said the issue was being kept away from the public because of the damaging effect on policing by the state police command.
“The sad aspect of the whole nightmare is that, as I speak with you, no word has come from the kidnappers yet. That has completely unsettled everybody in the command. Funny enough, the state commissioner of police has not issued any statement yet.”
The state PPRO, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, refused to confirm the abduction. He said: “Did you people have no closing hours? You are not police officers that have no closing time. I am driving; I will call you back in five minutes.” Aniamaka, however, did not call back several minutes later.
The Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, did not pick calls put through to his two telephone lines. The commissioner also refused to respond to the text messages sent to his mobile lines.
But a source said the victim was kidnapped by a five-man gang near Igbodo town on the Benin-Asaba- Onitsha Expressway while returning from Agbor in Ika South Local Government Area of the state, to Asaba on Sunday. This is coming five years after armed robbery gang waylaid a DPO, SP Tim Chibukwe, ASP Dan- Ladi and another officer on the same route. Chibukwe and Dan-Ladi were killed on the spot.
The late Chibukwe headed the Divisional Police Headquarters at Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area, before his death, while Dan-Ladi was, until his death, the officer in-charge of Ogwashi-Uku Police Station. The then PPRO, Charles Muka, now an SP, said Chibukwe and Dan-Ladi ran into the hoodlums at Igbodo on Benin-Asaba Expressway in Ika axis. The gunmen were being chased by the police Anti- Robbery Squad.