Kidnappers Free 3 Issele-Azagba Residents as Police Keep Mute on Attacks

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Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

Three of the seven persons abducted by gunmen who invaded Issele-Azagba Town in Deltag on Wednesday night have been released by their captors.

THISDAY learnt that the abductees, who were set free in the early hours of yesterday after allegedly paying huge sums as ransom to the suspected Fulani herdsmen, were apparently in good health.

One person was killed when the bandits stormed the High Hope Guest House in the town, leading seven persons away at gunpoint.
However, one of the two captives who made to escape was shot in the waist region while the other made good his escape eventually.

The man that escaped and later conveyed the injured and the remains of the dead victim to the hospital in Asaba is the manager of the guest house but who was erroneously reported in the media as the dead victim.

Nevertheless, two of the five abductees, said to include an engineer cum businessman and one of his workers, were yesterday afternoon still being held by the gunmen in their hideouts believed to be in the bushes of Issele-Azagba in Aniocha North and Aniocha South local government areas of the state.

A source in the community confided in THISDAY that the kidnappers were asking for about N4m for the release of the two men still in their custody.

Since the February 5, 2020 night attack that left an Edo State-born engineer and another resident dead, last Wednesday night’s attack is the third major attack on residents of the community by the unidentified gunmen.

Five persons were killed during the attacks with about eight persons abducted but some of them eventually released after the alleged payment of huge sums as ransom.

Two persons, including a teacher and a youth volunteer, had similarly lost their lives when the gunmen had invaded the Issele-Azagba Mixed Secondary School in October last year, forcibly taking away the principal along with some teachers and students.

Meanwhile, the state police command, which has reportedly concluded plans to establish a post in the town, has not reacted officially to the latest attack on the community as calls and SMS to the command’s spokeswoman,DSP Onome Oghene, and the Commissioner, Mr. Inuwa Mohammed Afiz received no response.