A police officer was on Thursday abducted when gunmen invaded Mbala Divisional Police Headquarters in Isuochi Community, Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, south-east Nigeria.
The abducted officer, simply identified as Dickson, is a deputy superintendent of police, and the divisional crime officer (DCO) in the police facility.
The DCO, said to be an indigene of Enugu State, has few years to retire from service, it was learnt.
Sources said police operatives had a shootout with gunmen, but were unable to stop the abduction of the DCO.
The attack was said to have caused fears among police officers in the council area and Isuikwuato Local Government Area, a neighbouring council area.
When contacted, the police spokesperson in Abia State, Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the abduction of the officer to PREMIUM TIMES, Sunday.
The police spokesperson described the attack as “unfortunate and worrisome.”
He said the police have begun an operation to track down the abductors and secure the officer’s freedom.
“Frantic efforts have started towards his release,” he said.
There are speculations that the family of the officer has been contacted and has reportedly paid an undisclosed amount of money as ransom to the abductors.
But the police officer is yet to be released, about three days after.
Increased kidnap attacks
Abduction for ransom has increased in Abia State in recent times.
The latest incident occurred less than three weeks after gunmen abducted scores of passengers along the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway between Leru Junction and Ihube Community, a boundary between Imo and Abia States.
Earlier in June, Uwadinachi Iweha, a medical doctor and the provost of Gregory University College of Medicine, Umuahia Campus, was also abducted.
He was whisked away while driving out of his residence at Umuajameze Ezeleke Umuopara in the Umuahia South Council Area of the state.
Mr Iweha is yet to be released, about two months after his abduction.
In May, Samuel Kanu-Uche, the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, was kidnapped alongside two other priests, while they were on their way from a programme in Umunneochi Local Government Area of the state.