By Boluwaji Obahopo, LOKOJA
Police on Sunday in Kogi State said they have rescued 99 staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that were kidnapped in the early hour of the day.
The INEC staff were returning from communities in the LOKOJA 11 state constituency when they were kidnapped around 2 am on Sunday around Obajana junction which is less than 20km from the state capital.
The police in a statement by the State Public Relations Officer SP WILLIAM Anya said, “On Sunday 19th of March, 2023, INEC Officials and Adhoc Staff came under heavy attack by armed hoodlums at Obajana while on their way from Kupa North and South Wards to the Constituency Collation Centre in Lokoja. The Police escort attached to the team responded robustly and engaged the hoodlums in a fierce gun duel.
“On receipt of the distress call, reinforcement teams were promptly mobilized and sent to the scene which equally engaged the attackers and owing to the superior firepower of the Police, the attackers were forced to flee with varying degrees of injuries.
“The Commissioner of Police in charge of Election in Kogi State, CP Yekini Ayoku, led the rescue team to the scene for an on-the-spot assessment. He later led the evacuation of the ninety-six (96) rescued victims comprising INEC Officials, Adhoc Staff, Bus drivers and others to the INEC Headquarters in Lokoja. While the three (3) injured victims were evacuated to the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja for treatment.
“The Commissioner of Police has accordingly ordered the deployment of operational and tactical assets of the Force to embark on thorough combing of the general area with a view to apprehending the attackers and to rescue the two (2) victims yet to be accounted for.
“The CP further tasked the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department to commence thorough investigation with a view to apprehending the miscreants and bringing them to deserved justice.
“The Commissioner of Police while commending the gallantry displayed by the men of the Force, urged members of the public particularly the adjoining communities to be on the lookout and report anybody seen with bullet wounds to the nearest security Formation or agencies. He assured the public that the Police will not rest on it’s oars in the fight against criminality in state”.
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