Soldiers attached to Alfa Company 144 Battalion, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Barracks, 14 Brigade Headquarters, Ohafia, Abia State have reportedly rescued two residents of the commercial nerve of the state who were kidnapped from their homes by gunmen.
Investigation by our reporter has it that the Alfa Company 144 Battalion personnel also recovered an SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) belonging to one of the kidnapped victims; a 45 year-old Aba based businessman.
Sources at the army formation disclosed that its personnel were also on the trail of a gang that kidnapped and collected ransom from the businessman whom they were said to have kidnapped near his house along Obingwa Local Government Area Headquarters.
According to the sources, they have been able to link recent kidnapping activities in the commercial town and its environs to a particular group of armed men that operate within the Obingwa LGA axis whose use the Abala region of the local council as their escape route when being trailed by security agencies.
A source at the army facility who spoke anonymously disclosed that one of the rescued victims; one Chinasa Johnson, a retired nurse was kidnapped in front of her residence at Abayi in Osisioma LGA.
The source stated that after a distress call was put across to them, they quickly went into action and traced the gang at their location at Aro Ngwa, off Enugu-Aba-Port Harcourt expressway where the gang on sighting the soldiers, fled to an unknown location.
The source who said that the female victim was taken to the hospital for medical attention, disclosed that the kidnappers inflicted deep cut on her hand within the 4hrs she was in the custody.
Speaking on the release of the 75-year-old man, the source disclosed that the septuagenarian was whisked away on gunpoint by some young boys armed to the teeth, numbering seven who stormed the victim’s Obingwa country home in tricycles.
“When the guys went away with the victim, the locals alerted our men who went into action and after intensive efforts, rescued the man after they abandoned him and ran into the bush after they noticed that we are on their trail.
“The 45-year-old businessman was kidnapped in front of his house somewhere off Obikabia junction. They initially drove the man and a female passenger, but on suspecting that the car had tracker, they asked the female passenger if she knows how to drive. She said yes, they had to order her to drive the car while they moved on with their victim.
“It was the female passenger that alerted us and by the time we could swing into action, the hoodlums had collected the man’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card to withdraw the ransom from an ATM and later abandoned him.
“From our investigation, the recent kidnapping activities in Aba and its environs are coordinated by this group. We are however not relenting on our oars. We are on the trail of members of the gang. We are closing in on them and I can assure you that in no distant time, we shall swoop on them.
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“We want to use this opportunity to warn parents and their children whose trade in stock is kidnapping to look for a more profitable and genuine business and stay away from evil. We will descend on them soon because we will not allow some unscrupulous elements to ruin the existing peace in the state and Aba in particular; we are going to make this state and city very hot for them to operate because we will fish them out from their various hiding in any part of the state.