Suspected kidnappers, have abducted an unspecified number of passengers again on the Benin-Auchi Road on their way to Abuja.
The victims were passengers of a popular transport company, Big Joe, which was conveying them to Abuja.
The incident happened between Ehor and Iruekpen, an axis that has become notorious in recent times with criminal elements operating with reckless abandon.
The gun-wielding suspected kidnappers were said to have emerged from the bush, shooting and forced the bus to come to a sudden halt before they swooped on the passengers.
According to eyewitnesses, several of the passengers “were forcefully taken into the bush.”
Meanwhile, the Kidnappers have contacted the families of the victims for ransom before they can be released.
Tribune Online was informed by a source who is close to one of the families of the abductees that the family members were already looking for money to pay the ransom and have their relations released from captivity before the yuletide.
The source added that besides the 14 passengers who were kidnapped in the single Toyota Hiace belonging to one of the popular transport outfits in Benin, other commuters in other vehicles were also kidnapped on the Benin-Auchi road by the same gang.
This was just as armed robbers swooped on commuters who parked by the road to avoid running into the kidnapping session, and dispossessed them of their belongings.
“I can confirm to you that the families of the abducted passengers have been contacted by the gunmen. Some families are already making efforts to raise money to free their people,” the source affirmed.
Confirming the incident 24 hours after, the Edo Police Command said that the bust in which the passengers were kidnapped belonged to Big Joe Transport Company.
The Command’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Chidi Nwabuzor, said that the police moved in almost immediately to rescue the kidnapped passengers.
“A bus belonging to Big Joe was intercepted by hoodlums referred to as kidnappers. While that was going on, the nearby police formation responded, repelled the hoodlums and rescued some passengers with three persons taken away to the bush,” Nwabuzor volunteered.
According to him, “investigation is still ongoing involving the police in Ehor and other tactical teams. They started combing the bush the moment the incident happened and hoping that these victims will be rescued.”
(Source: Tribune Online)