More facts have emerged on the rescue of the wife of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Mrs Margaret Emefiele was abducted in Ugoneki, a few miles from Benin City, Edo State capital, Thursday evening and her abductors had demanded N1.5bn ransom for her release.
A source in the Edo Police anti-kidnapping squad who was part of the rescue team told The Street Journal that two of the kidnappers were arrested with gun shot wounds, while a member of Ugoneki vigilante group, Gabriel Okoriri, lost his life during a gun battle with the kidnappers.
“We went deep into the forest with the help of local vigilante in Ugoneki and when we caught up with them (kidnappers), they started shooting at us, we retaliated and we’re able to bring down two of them, while the rest fled with bullet wounds. Unfortunately one of the vigilante member, Gabriel Okoriri, who accompanied us in the rescue operation, was killed in the gun battle. Right now the two wounded kidnappers are in our custody”, he said.
Guns and other dangerous weapons were also recovered during the operation. He added that the abducted persons were rescued without any harm to them and no ransom paid to the kidnappers.
A family source had confirmed the released of the abducted persons in the wee hours of Saturday following a massive police operation in the area.
Sources said they were rescued “due to the gallantry of the armed forces, Police and security forces”, in Ugoneki area of Edo.
Mrs Emefiele was on her way from Lagos to her hometown in Agbor, Delta State when her convoy was attacked by heavily armed men, who overpowered her security detail.
Margaret, three other women and a male driver, were reported to have been taken to an unknown location.
It was gathered that when the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, learnt of the incident, he had ordered a deployment of helicopters along the Benin-Agbor Road in a bid to smoke out the abductors.
The area was also said to have been flooded with hundreds of police operatives and sniffer dogs.
A well known intelligence czar, Abba Kwara and the Inspector General Special Intelligence Monitoring Team, were also deployed with immediate effect to track down the criminals.
The efforts paid off as Kyari and his team succeeded in tracking down the kidnappers and freeing the abducted women and driver.
Meanwhile, Godwin Emefiele has expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari over his directives to the security operatives to rescue his wife within 24 hours.
Emefiele gave his gratitude in a statement released in Abuja on Saturday by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor.
In the statement, Emefiele praised the security agencies for their gallantry in bringing his wife back home within 24 hours, in compliance with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He expressed his gratitude to the Delta and Edo State Governments, friends and well-wishers, who through their actions, prayers and goodwill, helped to bring this harrowing experience to a joyful end.
The CBN Governor reaffirmed his resolve to continue to serve the nation diligently, without any fear of intimidation.