The Rivers State Police Command on Monday said three kidnappers have been shot dead and five others arrested in a gun battle with its officers.
The kidnappers were said to have attempted to hijack a Lagos bound 15-seater commercial bus on Monday morning along Rumuji, Emohua Local Government area of East-West road of Rivers State.
Police spokesman, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the incident, said that as soon as the kidnappers sighted the commercial bus, they shot at it from the bush to force it to a stop.
According to him, the policemen who arrived the scene engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel and that unable to withstand the firepower of the Police, the hoodlums fled into a nearby bush but were pursued into the bush where three of them were killed and five others arrested.
“The arrested five kidnappers are helping the Police as they are undergoing interrogation,” he said,
Omoni also said the police had assisted the rest unharmed passengers to continue their Journey to Lagos, adding that the driver of the bus could not continue the journey because of the bullet wound he sustained during the crossfire between the police and hoodlums.
“The kidnappers had emerged from the bush and shot at the tyre of bus. Since launching of the “Operation Sting,” are we very much on ground. We sighted them and they opened fire. We returned fire, killed three of them and arrested five who are helping us with investigation.
“We had to make alternative arrangements for the passengers to continue their Journey to Lagos, while the driver who sustained minor injury was taken to the hospital,” Omoni said.
Commercial buses had been hijacked on multiple occasions at the Emohua axis of the East-West road, with passengers kidnapped for ransom.
Monday’s incident is one major breakthrough since Governor Nyesom Wike launched “Operation Sting”on July 26, 2019.
Wike said that the initiative was a signal for criminals to understand that there is no hiding place for them in the state.
“Operation Sting is our own specialized security initiative anchored on an integrated and coordinated approach fully funded by the Rivers State Government to effectively tackle both the sources and drivers of insecurity.
“The operation is also to fight against every security threat to our state, our persons and our properties in order to create the right social environment to drive our development. Under Operation Sting we have taken concrete steps to strengthen the logistics and operational capability of the civil and armed security forces,” he said.