By Simon Ebegbulem, Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakuru
A member of the House of Representatives, Patrick Aisowieren, his wife and their three children allegedly escaped from a five-man kidnapping gang along Aruoba Road in Ebo community of Edo State.
This happened just as the convoy of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Justin Okonoboh, was allegedly attacked by gunmen.
Aisowieren, who represents Orhionmewon Uhunmwode Federal Constituency of Edo State on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, said it was the second time that kidnappers had attempted to kidnap him and that he reported the matter to the police.
The first attempt, according to him, was while driving his Wrangler SUV but without National Assembly number plate and the incident happened in June/July 2016.
Narrating how he escaped the latest attempt to kidnap him to Sunday Vanguard, the lawmaker said: “I was going to town from my home at Aruoba Road, Ebo community on the 4th of February 2017 when they (kidnappers) attempted to kidnap me and my family. They met us – my wife, three kids and I – around one school along Irhirhin Road where you have erosion control stone and they just blocked our vehicle.
“If not that my driver manoeuvred, only God knows what would have happened to me and my family.
“It was the second time they were making that kidnapping attempt on me. The first time was about six months ago, between June and July 2016, when the former Edo Commissioner of Police was in office. I reported that one at the Airport road Police Station and he (police commissioner) gave me security men.”
The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Okonoboh, who spoke in Benin-City, yesterday, stated that a Toyota Camry car, carrying some armed men, ran into his convoy, on his way from his Igueben constituency, saying gun shots from his security men scared the gunmen away.
He narrated: “ Our security men earlier warned that we should be cautious, that we had a Camry Car coming after us and the people in the car seemed to have a mission. I was coming back to Benin from Igueben my constituency where I went to settle a land dispute.
“The occupants of the car were struggling to overtake us and when my security men observed that they were armed they started shooting in the air. At this point, they were trying to block my vehicle. They were struggling with my back up vehicle but the driver ensured they did not overtake us in a manner that they will come near my car.
“Security men inside the car started shooting to scare them away but they were not deterred until my back up van pushed them away out of the road, and they almost crashed into the bush and we sped off”.