How soldiers hijacked 8 kidnapped Kogi varsity students after we rescued them - Police



By Richard Elesho/Kogi

The Kwara Police Command has given graphic details on how a group of soldiers forcefully hijacked eight students recently kidnapped from the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) in Osara, Kogi State after they were rescued by its operatives in conjunction with other security operatives.

The Kwara Police Command said the soldiers who were on patrol forcefully took away the students from Oro-Ago police station where they were being prepared for transfer to Ilorin, the state capital.

The Police Command said this in a statement issued by the Spokesperson of the command, DSP. Ejire-Adeyemi Toun and made available to newsmen on Sunday.

The students were among those abducted by gunmen on May 9, 2024.at the campus of the university at about 8.30 p.m, while reading for their first-semester examination.

Giving insight into how the students were rescued and subsequently hijacked from the police by soldiers, DSP Toum said: “On the night of the kidnapping, gunmen invaded the university, firing shots and abducting several students during their tutorials.

“The immediate response by Kogi State Police and other security teams led to the rescue of 21 students, who have since been reunited with their families.

“However, the kidnappers escaped with the remaining students into Kwara State.

“The Commissioner of Police for Kwara State, CP. Victor Olaiya, promptly mobilized tactical teams from the Command and the Force Headquarters in Abuja, along with the Military, local vigilantes, and Police Hi-Tech Intelligence assets to rescue the captives.”

She added that the Inspector General of Police, IGP. Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, deployed the Police Air Wing to conduct aerial surveillance over the Ifelodun Local Government Area forests where the kidnappers were hiding.

The command’s image maker also revealed that after days of concerted efforts, the joint operation led to the successful rescue of eight students.

She gave the names of the rescued students as:

Anate Hanifat Oyiza, 19, Damisa Rasidat Ometere, 17, Ahmed Tijani Fatimah, 21, Obakachi Mashkurah Onyioyiza, 17, Oloruntoba Blessing Kemisola, 23, Omojo Godwin, 19
Abdulrafiu Abdulmakik Enesi, 19, and Musa Oseni, 19.

On how soldiers forcefully took the students away from the police operatives after their rescue, she said, “The students were rescued and taken to the Divisional Police Headquarters Oro-Ago in Kwara State in preparation for their onward movement to receive medical attention at the state capital Ilorin.

However on arrival at the station, the students appeared weak and in dirty clothings. Police operatives provided presentable clothes and breakfast.

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“While making preparations for their onward movement to Ilorin, soldiers on convoy patrol with three operational vehicles stormed Oro-Ago police station, over powered the police operatives and forcefully took custody of the rescued students without proper handing over. This act is disrespectful to the force; totally unacceptable.

“The behavior of the soldiers is likened to act(s) unbecoming of officers. And necessary actions will be taken to report their conduct to the higher authority.

The police spokesperson added that land and air operations are ongoing to smoke out the remnants of the deadly criminals who may still be hibernating in Kwara forest.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Victor Olaiya psc (+) appreciates the IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun PhD NPM for swift and timely intervention and all other security operatives who have worked tirelessly to see to the successful rescue of the students.

“He further urged members of the public to always be vigilant and report any suspicious movement or activities of persons in time to forestall any untoward incident.

The CP assures the good people of Kwara that he will not relent in getting rid of criminal elements from the State and has promised to emplace maximum security to protect the lives and properties of it’s citizens.

Meanwhile, Kogi state government had announced the rescue of the remaining eight kidnapped students.

According to a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo on Sunday, Governor Usman Ododo has directed full support towards the recovery of the students and their parents, while modalities are being put in place to make Kogi safer for all.

The government expressed profound gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for directing the mobilization of resources to ensure the rescue of the kidnapped students.

“We also thank the National Security Adviser immensely for his commitment to the release of the students and the general security of the State. The Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, the Director General of DSS, the Inspector General of Police and all the officers and men of the Armed Forces that put in their best as well as the Pilots, did a wonderful job to support us in reuniting the kidnapped students with their families. The Kogi State Command of all the security agencies, Police, DSS, NSCDC and our local hunters are also highly appreciated for their efforts towards this feat.”

Governor Ododo also expressed immense gratitude to his Kwara State counterpart, Governor AbdulRahmam AbdulRazak for his personal commitment, cooperation and support towards the success of the operation that led to the rescue of the remaining kidnapped students.

“The Kwara State Governor showed the reason he is effectively leading the Nigerian Governors Forum. His actions have also reinforced the Kogi/Kwara cooperation and unity of purpose.”

He urged citizens to always volunteer intelligence to security agencies to enable them to prevent crime.

“This is safer, cheaper and better for us all. All of us must come together to defeat banditry, kidnapping and any form of criminality in our society.”

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