The Commissioner of Police for Delta State Command, Ari Ali, on Sunday, said concerted efforts of local vigilantes and the security operatives of ‘A’ Division, Nigeria Police, Ughelli, led to the rescue of the kidnapped journalist, Julius Osahon, and other victims.
He said the journalist and other victims were abducted by gunmen at Evwreni axis of East-West road on their way to Warri from Yenaga, Bayelsa State last week.
The police boss while commending the operatives also hailed the youths of Iyede community in Isoko land for the useful intelligence and synergy that led to the success story.
CP Ali, in a telephone conversation with journalists on Sunday, noted that his team who were on top of the situation since the evening of Monday, March 28, 2022, when the incident was reported, were able to extend their surveillance network to adjoining communities from Evwreni in Ughelli North Local Government area where the incident occurred.
He said, “In order to make the surveillance extension easier, while the DPO Ughelli and his team concentrated more on the forest within Evwreni axis, I had to personally direct all the Divisional Police Officers and Unit heads in places like Patani, Isoko areas, mostly Iyede, Oleh, Olomoro and as far as Ukwani to also team up with their vigilantes to comb their forest for a possible lead in our findings.
“This search finally paid off on the fifth day of the abduction when we got a call from a retired police officer (name withheld) at Iyede community in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, at about 8 pm on Friday, April 1, 2020, of some strange movements in their forest and when they probed further, they were made to understand that they were kidnapped victims just got released by their captors”.
Immediately this call was passed on to the DPO Ughelli, SP Ibok, he immediately mobilised his men to the location and took all the victims including the Guardian reporter to Ughelli where they were kept to stabilise before being released to go home the next day”.
The police boss who commended all those who participated in the search to locate the victims who were in captivity in the forest for five days urged the locals to be more vigilant and sensitive to strangers and development within their communities.
He specifically appealed to the Local Government chairmen, traditional rulers, local vigilantes, Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cults groups as well as indigenes of the various communities to live up to their bidding by working with the police in divulging useful information “that could lead to the arrest of criminals in our communities”.