Benue demolishes kidnappers’ hideout as police rescue commissioner’s wife, driver



The Benue State Government, on Monday, demolished the building where the Operation Zenda security outfit killed three suspected kidnappers and rescued the wife of the Commissioner for Land and Survey, Mrs Ann Uneege.

Governor Samuel Ortom, who was at the state police command headquarters in Makurdi, told journalists that he had ordered the demolition of the building in line with the provisions of the law on the prohibition of abduction, hostage-taking, kidnapping, cultism and other related offences.

The building, located at the BIPC Quarter, Nyinma layout, Makurdi, was pulled down by a bulldozer.

Speaking on the incident, the Security Adviser to the Governor, Col Paul Hemba (retd.), said the action was in line with the law of the state, adding that the structure was being used by kidnappers to keep their victims and negotiate ransoms.

Hemba urged landlords to ensure proper profiling of would-be tenants before giving out their houses to them to avoid the demolition of such property.

The security adviser said the right of occupancy on the land, where the house was built, would be revoked in accordance with the law of the state.

He noted that three suspected kidnappers were killed when policemen invaded the house on a rescue mission on Monday.

The policemen were able to rescue the commissioner’s wife and her driver, who were abducted last Thursday around 6 pm in Makurdi.

Two pump action and one AK-47 rifles were recovered from the deceased kidnappers.

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Ortom said the feat recorded by the police would send a strong message to other criminals that Benue was not a safe haven for them.

The governor stated, “I am here at the police headquarters to commend the AIG and the immediate past police commissioner and the Operation Zenda operatives, who came together to crack these Pharaohs that have been terrorising the state in the last few weeks.

“They have been able to apprehend the kidnappers after a heavy gun duel. They also succeeded in rescuing the commissioner’s wife and her driver. We will not give up despite all the challenges.”

The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene, who confirmed the rescue of the commissioner’s wife, said three suspected kidnappers died from gunshot injuries during the rescue operation.

Anene added that five suspects had been arrested, while others were at large.

She said an AK-47 rifle loaded with double magazines and two double-barrelled guns loaded with ammunition were recovered.