Bandits holding six Assistant Superintendents of Police, ASPs captive in Katsina State for over one week are demanding N100m ransom for their release, Punch is reporting.
The ASPs were among the nine who were just promoted to their current rank and attached to the Mobile Police Squadron 6, Maiduguri, Borno State.
Findings reveal that they were demobilised from the riot unit and eight of them were on their way to the Zamfara State Police Command on transfer but one of them changed his mind at the last minute. He said he wasn’t comfortable with the trip and declined to join them. He said he had something to do and promised to join them in Zamfara later while the others embarked on the trip in a commercial bus. They were ambushed in the Dogondaji area of Katsina State and taken into the forest.
On getting to Kano, the driver was said to have asked the ASPs to join another vehicle as his bus had developed a fault. They joined another vehicle and on their way around Dongodaji in Katsina State, the bandits accosted and kidnapped them.
“While being taken away, two of them escaped and one of them was shot in the leg though he didn’t die. He found himself at a village and the villagers took him to a police station and he was taken to a hospital. The other six officers are still with the bandits who are demanding N100m ransom.
A senior police officer said the Commander, Mopol 6, could not account for the men when asked about their abduction, adding that he referred inquiries on the missing men to the Zamfara State Police Command.
Findings indicated that the families of the missing police officers were anxious about the safety of their breadwinners following the N100m ransom demanded by the bandits. It was learnt that the families were attempting to raise N3m for the release of the captives or N500,000 each.
When contacted, one of the officers, who escaped from the abductors, said he was too weak to recount the incident.
“I have high BP (blood pressure); I just came back from a check-up. I cannot remember everything now. The incident happened on Sunday along the Katsina-Gusau Road,” he simply said.
At the Mopol 6 base in Maiduguri, police personnel were overwhelmed by the kidnap of their colleagues, which came weeks after some of their men were killed and several others injured during an attack on the convoy of the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum. The mood in the barracks was very sober with little or no activity going on except for a few anti-riot policemen in uniform clustered in groups obviously discussing the incident.