Benue Police Rescue Kidnapped Surgeon, Nine Others; Nab Suspected Ritual Killers

Operatives of the Benue State Police Command on Monday rescued a kidnapped surgeon with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Makurdi, and nine others after spending 10 days in captivity at Gaya village, Utange Council Ward of Kastina-Ala Local Government Area, of the state.

The Command in the special operation also foiled another kidnap attempt on Makurdi-Lafia road in Guma LAG as well as apprehended the suspected ritual killers of 29 years old professional footballer, one Babatunde Moses in Otukpo LGA of the state.

Parading the suspects at the Command Headquarters in Makurdi, the new Police Commissioner for the state, Mr. Julius Okoro disclosed that the Medical Doctor, Obadiah Etito was whisked away by armed men in Zaki Biam while on a trip from Makurdi on May 13, 2023, and thereafter opened negotiations with his family for ransom.

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He said: “But during the investigation, a team of Operation Zenda JTF trailed the Kidnappers to their hideout at Gaya Village, Utange Council Ward in Kastina Ala LGA. On sighting the Police, the kidnappers engaged them in a gun duel that claimed the life of one of the kidnappers.

“Three of the suspects were arrested while others escaped into a nearby bush with bullet wounds. 10 kidnap victims including the doctor were rescued unhurt.

“Some of the items recovered from them include one locally fabricated AK47 rifle with 10 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, two single barrel rifles, one locally made barrette pistol loaded with three rounds of .9mm live ammunition and two military uniforms.”

The Commissioner explained that another kidnap attempt was foiled by his men after information was received by the team on patrol along Makurdi-Lafia road on Sunday that, “some gunmen had accosted a vehicle conveying passengers to Enugu at Daudu with intent to move the passengers to an unknown destination and request for ransom.

“The Police swiftly moved to the scene. On sighting the Police, the suspects abandoned their victims and took to their heels. They also abandoned a bag containing military camouflage uniforms and wooden guns.”

The Commissioner also explained that the young men suspected to have murdered their friend and professional footballer, Babatunde Moses for ritual, were apprehended after the report of the heinous crime was received on Saturday, May 20, in Otupko “that an unknown corpse was seen at Edikwu River bank with the internal organs removed.

“A team of detectives were deployed to the area for investigation during which it was revealed that the lifeless body was one Babatunde Moses aged 29 years who was last seen sitting with his friends in a burial ceremony.”

He said among those arrested in connection with the case were Idoko Omoru, Eze Emmanuel, Obande Emmanuel, Ameh Peter, and Sunday.

Mr Okoro said the investigation was ongoing to unravel the mystery behind the mysterious death and removal of the internal organs of the victim.