By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
The body of an alleged member of a gang of kidnappers which abducted mother and child in Shao, in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State, who jumped into the river to escape arrest is yet to be found.
He was said to have decided to jump into the river during a gun duel between the kidnappers and the security agents, apparently to avoid being identified as he could have been a known face among the locals, particularly, the hunters and the vigilante members.
The security agents on a rescue mission were said be a combined team of the police, local hunters and vigilante group members, who embarked on a fierce search for the abductees, when news filtered out that Madam Afusat Lawal and her son; Taofeek Lawal, had been abducted and whisked away by unknown gunmen.
Naturally, according to sources, Shao community do not joke with any form of aggression, talk less of waylaying their own and kidnap.
It was said that the elders of Shao instantly despatched their men to go into the bush and reacue the abductees.
The men, according, to sources, were made up of hunters and vigilante group, who went into the bush after the matter had been reported to the police.
The kidnappers were said to have gotten in touch with the relations of the woman and demanded for ransom, which turned out to be their albatross.
It was at the point of collecting this ransom and settling down to share their booties that the bubble bursts.
They were said to have been rounded up and a gun battle between them and the security ensued.
Sources in Shao added that the search men and the police traced the kidnappers to a spot where they were about to share their loot and were said to have been overun and over powered.
However, the state Police Command in a statement through its Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ajayi Okasanmi, said that it was formally reported at the Shao Police Stayeion on “13/9/22 at about 2320hrs that a kidnapping incident occurred in Shao, Kwara State.
“One Afusat Lawal, ‘F,’ and her son, one Taofeek Lawal, ‘M,’ were abducted and whisked away.”
He added, “The Kwara State Police Command wishes to inform the public that the victims have been rescued after an intensive and painstaking search and rescue operation by the Command’s Tactical teams, supported by vigilante and hunters.
“The kidnappers were accosted in the bush while trying to share the ransom collected from the family of the victims, they opened fire on the operatives immediately they were sighted by the kidnappers.
“During the exchange of fire, two of the kidnappers, who suffered gunshot injuries during the encounter were arrested and taken to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH, where they were confirmed dead.
“Consequently, their corpses were deposited in the hospital mortuary for autopsy.”
Okasanmi said that exhibits recovered from the kidnappers included one Honda Accord saloon car, with registration number LAGOS GJ 52 LSR, one single barrel gun and an unspecified amount of money.
He added that efforts are still being intensified to get other fleeing members of the gang arrested for prosection and that the rescued victims have been reunited with their family after being certified medically stable.