kidnapped wife of Benue Commissioner
The rescued Mrs. Ann Unenge

By Peter Duru – Makurdi

The wife of Benue State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, Mrs. Ann Umenge was Monday morning rescued by the State Police command after a gun duel that left three of the kidnap gang members dead in Makurdi.

Mrs. Unenge was kidnapped last Thursday alongside her driver at the High Level Area of Makurdi town shortly after returning from Daudu a neigbouring town in Guma Local Government Area of the state.

Her abductors had demanded a N51million ransom to ensure her release.

Vanguard, however, gathered that one of the victims of the gang who was kidnapped last Saturday but released on Sunday after paying his ransom provided relevant information that led to the tracing of the hideout of the gang at the Nyiman Layout area of Makurdi town.

According to the police source, “when the news of the kidnap of Mrs. Unenge and others housewives filtered into town Governor Ortom issued a marching order that all hands must be on deck to track down the gang and ensure the rescue of the victims.

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“The Governor also directed that the relevant devise be procured immediately to track down the gang who according to one of the victims had their base in the heart of Makurdi town.

“With that devise the Police swung into action and in just few hours the hideout of the gang was established and the police swooped on them, rescued the victims including Mrs. Unenge and killed three of the gang members during a gun duel.”

The demolished hideout of the kidnap gang

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene in an interview disclosed that five other suspects were arrested alive wile three died from gunshot injuries during the rescue mission.

“Mrs. Unenge and one other person was rescued. One AK47 rifle fully loaded with double magazine and two double barrel guns fully loaded with ammunition were recovered from the scene.

“Some of the victims received gunshot injuries during the kidnap but they are currently receiving treatment at Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi.

Those other five suspects were trailed and arrested at Welfare Quarters, Makurdi and one locally made gun was also recovered from them,” she said.

Meanwhile Governor Samuel Ortom who was at the Police Headquarters to receive the rescued victims commended the Police team for the swift intervention to reduce the victims.

The Governor who directed that the house used as operational base of the gang be demolished immediately said, “I commend the Commissioner who has been elevated to AIG and the Operation Zenda team for a job well done.

“No ransom was paid to secure the release of the victims and as a government we will continue to complement the efforts of the Police to enable them dutifully discharge their responsibilities.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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