A senior officer with the Nigeria Police Force has been reportedly kidnapped along the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway near Asaba, the capital of Delta state.
The Punch reports that the victim, a divisional police officer in Asaba simply identified as Mbanu, was returning to the state capital from Agbor in Ika South council area of the state when he was abducted.
The report quoted a source within the command headed by Mbanu as confirming the incident adding that it was carried out by five armed men.
The source also said the whereabouts of the officer was not yet known.
The former governor of the state, Emmanuel Uduaghan, had refused to sign the death penalty against kidnappers passed by the House of Assembly reportedly based on the argument that as a medical doctor, he is trained to protect lives.
In recent times, kidnapping has been on the increase across the country even happening in states with capital punishment against those found guilty.
“I can’t give you the name of the kidnapped officer but the abduction took place on Sunday along the Agbor-Asaba axis of the highway. He is a DPO under the Asaba police area command of the Delta state police command.
“The gunmen didn’t know that he was a senior police officer at the time he was waylaid and kidnapped by arms wielding men numbering five.
“The command has been holding meetings since morning on how to rescue the officer and we were warned not to devoid his abduction to pressmen.
“We learnt that the kidnappers have contacted the family but I don’t know how much the ransom is. The command is trying to keep the incident in wraps pending ongoing operation to free the victim.”
The report quoted a police officer in the command as saying that the DPO’s life is in danger.
He said: “If the gunmen get to know that he is our colleague, they will kill him. Secondly, the matter is being shrouded from the public; it does not tell well for the image of the Nigeria police command.”
The police public relations officer in state, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, was reported as saying: “I have no confirmation on this information.”