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By Harris Emanuel & Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

Troops of 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army in conjunction with Police operatives have rescued five kidnapped victims at Abia Palm in Epe community of Etim Ekpo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State.

Vanguard gathered that the raid and rescue operation was carried out based on credible information on the hideout and activities of the kidnapping syndicate at Abia Palm.

The rescued victims include Miss Blessing Elkanem, 19; Mr Kingsley Elkanem, 23; Mrs Chioma Gabriella, 35; Mr Idorenyin Inim, 23; and Mr Uko Clement, 39.

Assistant Director of Information, 2 Brigade, Captain Samuel Akari, who disclosed this, said during the operation, the leader of the kidnapping syndicate simply identified as Jean Nas escaped with an AK-47 rifle, while two other members of the syndicate, Imo Nkwo, 23 and Thankgod Ezekiel, 24, who attempted to escape were immobilised and arrested and their camp set ablaze.

According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that on September 23, 2022, the victims boarded a commercial bus from Port Harcourt en route to Ikot Ekpene before the kidnappers hijacked the bus to their camp at Abia Palm in the Epe community.

He said the rescued victims, exhibits and arrested kidnappers have been handed over to the Police for further action while efforts were ongoing to apprehend the fleeing kidnapping syndicate leader.

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