Police battle kidnappers, robbers in Aba

Abia State Police Command has checkmated attempt by kidnappers and armed robbers to return to the streets of Aba as five kidnappers were killed by the police in the last two weeks.
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BY Ugochukwu Alaribe, Aba

Abia State Police Command has checkmated attempt   by kidnappers and armed robbers to return to the streets of Aba as five kidnappers were killed by the police in the last two weeks.

Before the police took up the challenge, kidnappers had been trying to re-launch their evil deeds in Aba. On February 27, gunmen shot dead four members of the Abia State Vigilante Services after they foiled the abduction of a businessman at Tonimas junction on the Enugu –Port Harcourt expressway. Few days later, a businessman was abducted from his residence at Ogbor Hill and his corpse was later discovered near the Orji Uzor Kalu Bridge.

Another businessman, Chinenye Joe, was also abducted by gunmen but regained his freedom after a week in the kidnappers’ den. A week later, a lecturer at the Abia State Polytechnic, Mr. Nkwachi Brown, was also kidnapped along Opobo road, Ogbor Hill.  On Friday, 7th  April, a medical doctor was abducted in the city on his way to acquire medical supplies, 72 hours later; another doctor was kidnapped at his clinic with his patient along Howell Crescent.  In another incident, a sales girl was killed as her boss and wife escaped abduction along Azikiwe road.

Recovered item

However, the Police in the city appear to have adopted the popular saying, ‘the harder they come, the harder they fall’.   On Sunday April 16, a 5- man gang of armed robbers who had snatched a Toyota Corolla car and robbed Dan Dollars filling station along Ikot Ekpene road met their waterloo as the Police shot two of them dead and arrested one as they were robbing motorists along the Factory road railway crossing. The robbers had earlier snatched a Toyota Forerunner SUV and robbed a businesswoman of her bags of rice, crayfish, handsets and gold-plated wedding ring.

Police Area Commander in Aba,  ACP Peter Okpara, told Crime Guard that one of the gunmen was later arrested as he went to seek medical attention at an undisclosed location in the city.   While the arrested robber was being paraded at the Aba Area Command, a woman who came to report the robbery incident on her shop identified a golden ring on the robber’s finger as her wedding ring, adding that the robbers carted away her money and bags of crayfish and jewelleries.

Items recovered from the robbers include; a Toyota Corolla car with number plate, Lagos EPE 568 EM; a Toyota 4runner SUV with number plate, Enugu DR 413 ENU; 3 locally made pistols, 9 mobile phones, 3 bags of crayfish, copy of the Holy Bible and N65,020 cash.

Two days later, the Police recorded a major success in the fight against kidnappers in the city. A gang of gunmen had stormed Azikiwe road and abducted two staff of a brewery company, Ngene Raphael and Oliver Ogbonna, with their Lexus SUV, with number plate, AA 998 CV. The gang continued firing sporadic shots as they drove wildly with their victims through East Street to the Orji Uzor Kalu Bridge unaware that the Police Commissioner, Mr. Leye Oyebade, had mobilized  several units of the Police Tactical Response team to block suspected exit route.

On sighting the Police team on stop- and -search duty, the gunmen opened fire, but they were overpowered by the police and abandoned a Toyota Sienna bus and their victims who were later rescued by the Police. An AK 47 rifle No.2230 with 10 rounds of live ammunition and a Toyota Sienna van with number plate, SMK 768 CT, as well as the victim’s SUV, were recovered. One of the gunmen who escaped with bullet wounds was later arrested by men of the Ndiegoro Police Division who went after them.

Reacting to the resurgence of kidnapping and other violent crimes in Aba, the Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, in a statement signed by its Aba Unit chairman, Prof. Charles Chinekezi, argued that there was a great need  for security agencies in Aba and environs to work together in order not to allow the city return to the days of kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes which made people to flee the city between 2009 and 2010.

According to him, “These criminals are here again, they have started attacking and abducting people. The security agencies should not allow the residents of Aba to suffer the insecurity of the past years where many of them relocated to other places. For instance, a lot of people have been abducted in the past one month or more and they are continuing to kidnap and rob more people.  As the foremost human rights and civil society group in Nigeria, we alert the security agencies that criminals have commenced house to house robbery in Aba. They invade people’s houses  between 1am and 4am. They have robbed a couple of buildings around Ogbor Hill and Iheorji areas. Security agencies should re-strategize to curtail the resurgence of violent crimes like kidnapping and armed robbery in Aba.”

He called on the security agencies in Aba to remain dedicated to their duties of protecting lives and property as well as abstain from involving themselves in frivolous cases.   “Today, soldiers have suddenly started mounting road blocks to replace the dismantled road blocks of the police force. They use small boys to collect tolls on the road and such activities tend to distract them. This has been the real problem that we are facing right now and that is why there is this slack in security which has given these criminals the leeway to re-launch their activities.”

Speaking on the recent successes recorded by the Command in the fight against kidnapping and other violent crimes, CP Oyebade, who commended his men for taking the fight to the kidnapper’s den, urged residents of the state to volunteer information about criminals to the police.   Oyebade  lamented the failure of some families of victims to report incidents to the security agencies.

The post Police battle kidnappers, robbers in Aba appeared first on Vanguard News.

Source:Vanguard News

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