The Imo State Police Command has rescued seven kidnapped victims including five men and two females, among them a pregnant woman. State Police Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikokwu said that the Police Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba was in the state to address reporters on the development and declined further comments.
“Keep all the information you have on the matter till tomorrow. I am at the airport to receive the FPPRO, Frank Mba who is in the state to talk on the matter. He will address journalists tomorrow,” Ikokwu said in a report by SouthbEast Post.
Tje report cites sources saying that the police also discovered the full uniform and kits of a police sergeant who was earlier beheaded by kidnappers in the bush where the seven passengers were rescued.
The victims were returning to Owerri Control Post in the state capital, from Bayelsa State, when they were kidnapped at an illegal road block mounted by the hoodlums Friday evening and taken to Okeohia Forest at Ilile Community in Ohaji- Egbema Local Government Area of the state. Police sources said in Owerri that the victims were being tortured in the bush when a hunter heard their cries and thought they were animals and moved closer before he heard them begging their kidnappers to spare their lives.
According to the sources, the hunter later tiptoed out of the forest and ran to Umuagwo Police Station where he alerted the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Superintendent Ikembuchukwu Abugu, who is said to have a good rapport with hunters and vigilante groups in the area over the issue.
Abugu was said to have assembled a crack team of detectives who moved into the bush to rescue the passengers after a fierce and bloody battle which led to the death of three of the kidnappers while others escaped with bullet wounds.
Last month, the same Umuagwo Police station rescued 18 passengers of Peace Mass Transport, PMT, and 14 others of Rivers State Transport company who were travelling from Abuja to Port Harcourt respectively before they were kidnapped in the same axis. “The travellers were returning to Owerri from Bayelsa when they were kidnapped at Umuapu area, the boundary town between Port Harcourt and Imo State.
“When the police overpowered the kidnappers after six long hours of gun duel, rescued the victims and moved into their camp, they discovered the complete uniform and kits of a late Sgt, David Christopher, who was killed and beheaded after he was kidnapped while returning to his Eleme Division in Rivers State, from Owerri where he had gone to buy drugs for his mother in- law last month.
“The detectives found his uniform, booths, whistle, a handcuff, a saw which they used to severe his head from his body as well as 64 expended cartridge shells in the makeshift camp built with tarpaulin, with a big shrine at the center. “They also recovered Pump Action riffles, locally made guns and four live cartridges.