By Okon Bassey in Uyo
The joint security patrol team comprising personnel of the 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army and the police yesterday foiled an attempt by kidnappers to abduct a monarch, Chief Malachy Umoren, in Idu Community, headquarters of Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
One of the five-man kidnapper squad who sustained gun injuries during an exchange of fire with the security operatives, was said to have died on the way to the hospital
Sources said following a tip-off, the security patrol team chased the criminal gang that had already abducted their victim and sped off in a Primera Saloon car.
In an attempt to escape, the kidnappers were said to have engaged security personnel in a gun battle until the hoodlums abandoned their vehicle and ran into the bush.
THISDAY gathered that it was during the cross-fire that one of the kidnappers was injured and later died in the hospital.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Chukwu Ikechukwu, confirmed the incident, saying: â€œThere was an attempt to kidnap a villager at Idu Uruan but, was foiled by the joint operation of the army and the police.
â€œThe man was rescued successfully and is in a stable condition now in the hospital but, one of the kidnappers who sustained serious injury but, was rushed to the hospital later died, while the investigation is ongoing to arrest others involved in the crime,â€ he said.
Also reacting, the 2 Brigade in Uyo, in a statement issued by the Assistant Director, Public Relations, Capt. Umar Shuaib, said: â€œThe gallant troops of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army conducted a successful operation and rescued one Chief Malachy of Idu, Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
â€œThe chief was kidnapped by a five-man gang of criminals at his compound at Idu, Uruan.
â€œThe troops, after a shootout with the hoodlums, succeeded in arresting one of the suspected kidnappers, who has gunshot wounds,â€ he added.
According to him, several dangerous items were recovered from the hoodlums including one pump action rifle, four locally made pistols, two cutlasses, three mobile phones, three pump action rifle cartridges, four ATM cards, an envelope containing some documents and one Nissan Primera salon car.
Commander of 2 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Abdu Ibrahim Hassan, said there would be no hiding place for criminal elements in the state as security operatives are prepared to take the heat to their hide out.
He, however, urged the residents to expose criminal perpetrators in their midst.