Gunmen have kidnapped several travellers around the Agbarho axis of the busy Warri/Ughelli highway in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt on Thursday that the incident, which happened around 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday between Ekreravwen junction and Umvwiamuge-Agbarho junction, involved several Warri-bound vehicles.
At least six vehicles, including that of a commercial bus belonging to Agofure Motors, were said to have run into the attack.
A source told our reporter that no fewer than 15 persons were forcefully dragged out of their vehicles at gunpoint and abducted, but the police said one person sustained a gun wound during the attack while the number of persons kidnapped could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
The source, a lady, who craved anonymity, said the gunmen were more than nine.
She said the heavily armed hoodlums were said to have stormed the road from the nearby bush shooting sporadically, adding that they also escaped through the bush path with their victims.
“From what I heard, kidnappers took some persons hostage about 6.30 pm on Wednesday. It happened under the railway bridge before the Agbarho Police Station when coming from Ughelli. Police are there. A commercial tricycle (Keke NAPEP) with all its passenger were abducted.
“All the passengers on the Agofure bus, including the driver were abducted. Also, the occupants of a Toyota Siena and a red SUV were taken too. They were led into the bush,” the source said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident but said the number of abducted persons was unknown.
She said, “The Police cannot ascertain for now the number of persons that were kidnapped. I can confirm that several persons were kidnapped but we do not know the number for now. Right from the moment, we got the information our men have been in the bush.
“The kidnappers were repelled by men of Dragon Patrol Team that were on the highway, otherwise it would have been worse than what it is.
“For now, we are not sure if there are casualties. I understand that a wounded person was rescued. He was a tricycle rider. So, we cannot know if someone was killed, but at least an injured person was rescued with bullet wounds.”
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the area is known for notorious criminal activities as many victims had been kidnapped on that same spot in the past.
In September 2019, several travellers were also abducted in the area leading to the killing of a police inspector.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999