There are indications that kidnappers who terrorised colleges in Epe and Ikorodu areas about 5 years in the past have resumed their felony escapades within the riverine areas of the state as police sources linked the kidnapping of a retired Air Vice Marshal, Sikiru Smith, to the gang.
The sources on Saturday confided in our correspondent that the abductors lurked across the creeks in Ikorodu and Ajah axis earlier than they finally launched Smith early Saturday. In addition they stated an undisclosed quantity was paid as ransom.
Smith, the Chairman of Double Wealth Ventures Restricted – a dredging and engineering agency – was supervising work on a website in Ajah on Monday when masked gunmen invaded the place and shot into the air to scare folks away.
The gunmen had been stated to have whisked him away in a ready speedboat and headed in the direction of Ikorodu.
A group drawn from completely different tactical squads and coordinated by the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, was set as much as rescue the retired AVM, who’s a cousin to a former Inspector-Common of Police and present Chairman of the Police Service Fee, Musiliu Smith.
A supply aware about the rescue operation confided in our correspondent that the previous Air Power boss was freed at a spot in Ajah within the early hours of Saturday.
The supply stated, “They (the abductors) had been taking him between Ajah and Ikorodu all this whereas. The police had been monitoring their motion however had been being cautious to not take any motion that may put the person’s life in danger. He was finally launched round Ajah.
“A ransom was paid however I didn’t know the quantity. In any case police weren’t get together to ransom fee. The abductors are identified; they had been those who kidnapped youngsters in colleges in Ikorodu and Epe some 5 years in the past earlier than the difficulty was addressed. The police will go after them.”
One other dependable supply on the state police command informed Sunday PUNCH that Smith’s abduction was a resurgence by a kidnap gang that after carried out abductions within the Lagos colleges. The officer, nevertheless, stated a manhunt had been launched for the gang.
“The police combed the Ikorodu space primarily based on intelligence. We all know these behind the kidnap and we’re going after them. It’s the identical set of criminals who invaded secondary colleges in Ikorodu and Epe some years again. The retired Air Vice Mashal was finally launched early at this time (Saturday) round Ajah,” the supply defined.
Efforts to get the freed AVM proved abortive as calls to his line on Saturday weren’t reachable.
Lagos State was below the grip of kidnappings, together with abduction of schoolchildren, between 2016 and 2017.
One of many outstanding incidents was the Could 2017 invasion of Lagos State Mannequin Faculty, Igbonla, Epe, by gunmen, who seized six pupils and took them away in a ship. The victims spent 64 days in captivity earlier than they had been launched after ransom fee.
In June 2017, suspected kidnappers wrote Lagos State Mannequin Faculty, Kankon, Badagry, threatening to abduct some pupils and workers members of the college “the identical manner we did at Igbonla, Epe.” The assault was nevertheless averted.
Earlier, in March 2016, three schoolgirls at Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary Faculty, Ikorodu, had been kidnapped by gunmen. They had been rescued about 5 days later and a few suspects arrested.
The Police Public Relations Officer within the State, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed Smith’s launch however stated he had but to get full particulars.
The PPRO had but to answer to our correspondent’s enquiry on steps being taken by the command to deal with resurgence of kidnapping within the state.
Nonetheless, Odumosu, the state Commissioner of Police, had in an announcement on Wednesday issued by Ajisebutu, urged the residents to not panic, assuring them of security of lives and property.
The assertion learn partly, “The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu needs to guarantee residents that Lagos State is secure, and that they need to not panic on account of the viral put up or the current safety infringement in Ajah the place AVM Sikiru Smith (retd.) was kidnapped. Whereas nonetheless pleading with members of the general public to imagine in police’s means to guard them always, the Commissioner of Police as soon as once more solicits the assist of the general public, sister companies and different strategic companions by giving immediate however actionable intelligence that might additional decimate felony parts and their nefarious actions within the state.”
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