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Men of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command killed three robbery suspects and two kidnappers during a shootout.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Olatoye Durosinmi, who disclosed this on Tuesday during a press briefing at the police headquarters in Uyo, said five kidnap victims were rescued during an operation.
Mr Durosinmi identified the two suspected kidnappers as Thankgod Udo of Ikpe Annang and Imo Okarafor. He said others escaped with bullet wounds into the river.
He identified the five rescued victims as Blessing Ekanem, 19, Kingsley Ekanem, 23, Chioma Gabriella, 25, Idorenyin Maurice, 23, and Uko Clement, 39.
The police chief said “AK 47 magazine with ammunition was recovered” from the suspects who, before the rescue operation, had demanded N20 million ransom from their victims.
The victims were travelling to Uyo from Port Harcourt on Friday when a passenger bus conveying them was hijacked by the suspects at about 9:21 p.m. along the road in Abia State, according to the police.
The bus passengers were robbed and five of them were abducted.
Mr Durosinmi said a combined team of the military and police, acting on intelligence, stormed their hideout on Monday, and two of them were shot dead during the operation.
The state police chief described the other three as “a dangerous gang of armed robbers responsible for most robberies and car snatching within Uyo Metropolis”.
Mr Durosinmi said the suspects “attacked Kelechi Orji and family along Nteps Supermarket by Oron road in Uyo, took him to an ATM and forced him to withdraw all his available cash for them and took away his jeep also”.
They were trailed to their hideout on 10 September by the police operatives where the three of them were shot dead during a shootout.
The suspects before their death reportedly mentioned Chima Omelazu, 45, from Obingwa Local Government Area in Abia State as one of their members.
Mr Durosinmi said the police later arrested Mr Omelazu on 15 September and recovered from the suspect a Highlander SUV, Lexus GX 460 SUV, Toyota Rav4 SUV, Lexus 350 SUV, and a Toyota Camry.
“The Command under my watch will spare no resources in ensuring that we can bring those behind criminality in Akwa Ibom State to book,” the police chief said.
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