Bandits Kill Igbenedion Varsity Don …Gunmen Murder One, Abduct 17 In Kaduna …As Police Kill Five Kidnap Suspects, Nab 20 In Rivers


Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Dan Mallam, yesterday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers.
Dan Mallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izebeokhai, was killed in an attempted escape bid when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.
The gunmen were said to be operating near Okada junction along the Benin-Lagos highway.
It was learnt that the gunmen abducted Izebeokhai and other passengers in the bus they were traveling in.
The driver of the mini bus was said to have rushed into the bush along with four other passengers.
“Unfortunately, one of the passengers who tried to escape during the abduction was killed by the gunmen.
“The police went after the kidnappers in the bush and succeeded in rescuing the victims.”
He said the police were working on a new strategy which entails taking the war to the kidnappers’ den in the jungle, adding that it is the best way to tackle the scourge.
Spokesman for the university, Mr Jide Ilugbo, who confirmed the killing described it as “babaric.”
Ýlugbo said late Izebeokhai was a First Class graduate and was employed in the university in 2016. He said it was now dangerous to travel on the Benin-Lagos highway due to frequent attacks by armed robbers and kidnappers.
The official said it was unfortunate he ran into hoodlums, saying that the trailer parked before Okada junction is a hideout for criminals.
Meawhile, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen were reported to have invaded two communities in Kaduna State, killing one person while 17 others were abducted.
Both incidents were said to have occurred in the early hours of yesterday when the bandits invaded ECWA Church Dankande village, Dogon Dawa area, Birnin Gwari Birnin Local Government Area and Guguwa-Kwate village, Rigasa area in Igabi Local Government Area.
The incident in Dankande was said to have occurred at about 12:30 am when the bandits, surrounded the church, where a choir practice was going on.
An eyewitness who spoke in a telephone interview with our correspondent yesterday in Kaduna, said, the hoodlums forced everybody to lie face down while all mobile phones were seized at gunpoint.
He said “it was at about 12:30 midnight. We had a combined choir practice in the church with other neighbouring communities. We normally hold the combine choir practice from 9:00pm to 1:00am.
“As we were in the church, Fulani herdsmen, numbering over 20 just surrounded the church and started shooting. “Everybody was terrified, but there was no how we could run because they had already surrounded the church.
They were asking for the pastors house and they threatened to shoot us if we don’t show them the house.
“Some of them went to the pastors house while others kept watch over us.
“They abducted the pastor’s daughter and 14 others – ten girls and five men were abducted”.
“We later reported the incident to the soldiers that are stationed at Dogon Dawa and they said they were coming….. ‘
The attack in Guguwa-Kwate village was said to have also occurred some few minutes after midnight.
A community leader in the area who pleaded anonymity said the bandits were Fulani herdsmen, numbering about 30 and were armed with guns and machetes.
He said they were shooting indiscriminately and they killed his senior brother’s son.
“They entered one house and were beating people. They kidnapped one man and a woman in the house.
The killed my senior brother’s son”.
According to him, it was the fifth time the bandits were invading the community.
“This is the fifth time these bandits are invading our community. About two months ago, they abducted two people in the farm.
The other person was killed even after we paid them ransom.”
He said the community had reported all the incidents to the police, but there seemed to be no respite as the herdsmen continued to terrorise the village.
“We are helpless because there is nothing we can do other than to report to the police when such incidents happened.
We have no arms and we cannot stand them, we are just at their mercy because they are well armed and they always come in large numbers,” he lamented.
Efforts to contact Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna State police command, on the matter was unsuccessful as his mobile phone was switched off.
Also, the Rivers State Police Command says it has killed a five-man kidnap gang suspected to be responsible for all criminal activities in Eneka community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state and its environs.
The state Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel disclosed this while briefing journalists at the command’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, last Friday, on the major breakthrough and achievements recorded by the command in recent time.
Belel told journalists that operatives of the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Unit, led by the Commander, Supo Adaka Justin, during a sting operation and follow-up in a case of kidnapping, last Thursday, at about 0500hrs, stormed a criminal hideout at Eneka in OBALGA where a gang of kidnapers were hibernating.
According to him, the hoodlums, on sighting the police, opened fire, and injured two of the police officers, adding that the police, in return of fire, killed five of the hoodlums.
He explained that at the end of the gun duel, the suspected kidnappers were taken to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital where doctors confirmed them dead.
“The deceased kidnappers and armed robbers are members of the armed gang responsible for all the criminal activities at Eneka and its environs.
“Their camp was destroyed and the following exhibits recovered: one AK-47 rifle, one magazine loaded with 13 live ammunition, one locally-made revolver gun, two Pump Action guns, eight different smart phones, assorted charms and armlets and three machetes”, he added.
The CP while giving further breakdown of the various achievements recorded within the period under review, said 12 cultists, four kidnap suspects, and four armed robbery suspects were arrested, while three AK-47 rifles, five locally-made pistols, three Pump Action guns, eight machetes, five magazines, 60 ammunition and 40 cartridges were recovered.
He confirmed that 12 cultists were arrested across the state, adding that the suspected cultists had engaged in senseless and mindless attacks of their perceived rival cult groups.
Belel promised that the police would continue to do their best to sustain the current onslaught against armed banditry in the state, adding that he has repositioned his men for better productivity in the war against criminals across the state.
“I have repositioned my men for better productivity, and as soon as possible, you will feel the impact of rejigged strategy”, he stated.