BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BARELY 48 hours after the Edo State Police Command paraded 47 suspected kidnappers, the command, on Friday, lost four officers during an attempt to save the human rights lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), from suspected kidnappers.
Though the suspected kidnappers succeeded in taking away their victim, Ozekhome, and his driver during a gun duel, there were indications that the police were closing in on the suspected kidnappers. The state Edo Commissioner of Police, Foluso Adebanjo, and his men were said to be combing the ‘Evil Forest’ and other suspicious hideouts in search of the victim..
The Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, has directed the Commissioner of Police in the state to fish out the suspects. It was learnt that the DPO who led the group was receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. An eye witness account said that the police officers battled the suspected kidnappers but were subdued due to the abductors’ superior fire-power.
Narrating the incident, Adebanjo said: “Operatives of the command, led by DPO Ehor Division, responded swiftly to a distress call at about 3:30pm that an unspecified number of armed men had blocked the Benin-Auchi Road by Ehor axis. However, the hoodlums ambushed the patrol vehicle and opened fire on them, prompting an exchange of fire.
“At the end of the gun duel, the hoodlums escaped with bullet wounds but not without their victim who was later identified upon search on his abandoned vehicle as Chief Ozekhome (SAN) and his driver”.
“Regrettably, the command lost four officers in the encounter. We salute their rare courage and bravery for they fought and died as heroes for the course of humanity. Their death shall not be in vain. We remain undeterred in our fight against armed banditry”.