By Edima Frank
Soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta code-named Operation Pulo Shield in Ikang, Bakassi Local Government Area, today had an encounter with a notorious group of Sea Pirates known as Pioneer Security Force.
The group specializes in kidnapping , hijacking of boats, killing and carting away valuables of victims.
A security source told CrossRiverWatch that the encounter was a fierce exchange of gunfire between the Army and the group as part of a renewed onslaught by security forces on the armed gang which has been connected with recent kidnappings in the state.
Some of the militants were said to have escaped into the water with various degrees of gunshot wounds while one Mr. Nelson Joseph Udom, a native of Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was captured alive and has been handed over to appropriate authority for further investigation.
The security officer who spoke with CrossRiverWatch after the operation said, “The group is suspected to be responsible for the kidnap of Honorable Dominic Aqua Edem, the Labor Party Candidate for House of Representative that was kidnapped last two weeks.”
It will be recalled that Hon. Dominic Aqua, a former Commissioner of the Niger Delta Development Commission and former Deputy Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly was kidnapped two weeks ago and the kidnappers demanded for one hundred and fifty million naira and later reduced it to fifteen million but were finally paid ten million naira to secure the release of the politician.
He was seriously battered by the kidnappers who he said were bent on extracting a renunciation of his political ambition.
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