By Ikwen Atuaka
The Police in Obudu local government area of northern Cross River State arrested four suspects this morning following the kidnap of a 6 year old pupil on Wednesday CrossRiverWatch authoritatively reports.
The arrest comes following a tip off from a source and reconnaissance carried out by the Police a source told this reporter.
The team of four (all males) had kidnapped their victim, a female pupil of St. Joseph’s Primary School for the visually handicapped, Wednesday afternoon and proceeded to Bishiri village in neighbouring
Obanliku local government area about 4 kilometres east of school located in the heart of Obudu.
The Police following a tip off had gone on a reconnaissance mission and upon learning about the whereabouts of the victim, swoop in this morning at the compound which looked more like a students hostel and after a brief fight, subdued the suspected kidnappers and arrested them.
One of the suspects, CrossRiverWatch gathered from reliable sources, hails from Obudu while the other three hail from Benue state.
CrossRiverWatch also gathered that a Police officer, (name withheld) was bitten by one of the Kidnappers and is currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed facility.
Meanwhile, there are over 200 people currently at the Obudu Divisional Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force waiting to see the suspects with the Police officers on duty said to be wary of the situation and preventing all access to the suspects to prevent jungle justice been meted out on them.
Efforts to get confirmation from the Sate Police Command in Calabar as at press time, failed as several calls to the Police Public Relations Officer in the state ASP Irene Ugbo did not connect as the operator kept displaying “Line Busy.”
This comes days after the youths in Obudu which is over 300 kilometres north of Calabar, the Cross River State capital, cancelled a protest at the dying minutes which aimed at calling the attention of relevant authorities to the kidnappings in Obudu which at the last count, including this botched one, stands at 9 overall and 4 between February 2 and March 8, 2017.
The youths had accused the Police of complicity while the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade introduced the ‘Hafiz law’and announced a NGN1million naira prize money for anyone who provides useful information on kidnappers.
The kidnap of the Chief Librarian of the Federal College of Education Obudu, Mr Godwin Angiating in June 2015 following that of Sunday Anagwe, a businesman kidnapped in March 2015 were the first reported cases of kidnap in Obudu.
The abduction of Pastor Walter Ibe, a lecturer in the department of Computer Science in the same institution in May 2016 followed suit and in October 2016, staff of the institution protested following the kidnap of one Mrs. Anyocha, a principal lecturer of Igbo language.
About three days after the protest, the Chairman of the Obudu Urban Development Authority, Canice Atsu kidnapped four days earlier was released.
Jude Akwagiobe Agaba, popularly referred to as ‘FG’, a palm wine seller for decades was abducted in a vehicle which looked like it had gone to the auto shop with damaged body parts with his pregnant wife beaten and kicked in the stomach on February 2, 2017 and was released a week later after an initial ransom demand of NGN5Million was relaxed to NGN1Million.
Five days after FG’s release, a man simply identified as Simon who owns the Simbless pharmaceutical shop, at No. 1 Uquart Street, in Obudu and popularly referred to as ‘Jehovah’ was abducted at about 8:30pm in his house after closure from his shop.
He was released last weekend with the Police nabbing 5 suspects which includes 3 women and 2 men following the discovery of a trail of blood discovered on their car heading towards Vandeikya.
On Wednesday March 1, 2017, one George Imanyi, a hotelier, became the eighth victim and the third in quick succession to be kidnapped between February 2, 2017 and that day.
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