Waterway: Lagos Police comb Ajah, others to free abducted General
Waterway: Lagos Police comb Ajah, others to free abducted General

Five police teams have been set up to rescue Air Vice Marshal Sikiru Smith (retd.) who was abducted on Monday by masked gunmen at a site in the Ajah area of Lagos State.

A senior police source, who spoke to PUNCH Metro, said the team consisted of two marine special operatives and three special land operatives.

She stated that the team had been given a timeline to rescue the retired officer, adding that efforts were on to mobilise operatives from the Force headquarters, Abuja, to assist in the operation.

“The team is being coordinated by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, and they have been given a timeline to rescue him,” the source said.

Sikiru, who is a cousin to a former Inspector-General of Police and current Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith, was whisked away in a waiting speedboat.

Our correspondents gathered that the gunmen shot continuously during the attack.

In a frantic effort to alarm the public about the abduction, his driver, one Corporal Odiji, recorded an SOS voice note which was shared online.

“This is an emergency; I am Corporal Odiji attached to Air Vice Marshal Smith. They just abducted him from the site where we were working. Some gunmen who were wearing masks just came and snatched my boss now.

“They shot everywhere. I was near where I was fixing my boss’ vehicle. As I was coming, I saw them leaving in a boat but I wasn’t armed, so I just ran to the site and I saw his glasses and where he struggled with them. Please pass this information. It is an emergency,” he said.

When asked about the progress on Sikiru’s rescue operation, the state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, said, “We are on it, we are making concerted efforts; we will give you details later.”

The Force Police Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, vowed that the victim would be rescued.

He said, “We are aware of that unfortunate incident and we are working hard to make sure we crack that crime to rescue the man unhurt and reunite him with his family.

“We will spare no human or material resources in investigating the matter; we will do all we can operationally and humanly to make sure we crack that crime as quickly as possible.

“It is an ongoing investigation and I will not do the victim or the family members and loved ones or the investigators themselves who are working round the clock to solve the crime, and even the society generally, any service divulging the details of what we are doing moving forward. But at the right time, we will talk to Nigerians on that matter.”

The retired general is currently the Chairman of Double Wealth Ventures Limited – a dredging and engineering firm.

Sikiru,  advocated the use of drones in security surveillance and military offensives in the country to curb the use of military jets.

Hoodlums kidnap Lagos pastor, wife, demand N100m ransom In a related development, a cleric with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, identified only as Pastor Ogundeji, has been abducted by suspected hoodlums in the Dopemu area of Agege, Lagos State.

He was reportedly kidnapped together with his wife.

That the couple’s driver was conveying them in their car when the hooded assailants waylaid them en route to their destination on Monday.

During the attack, the men reportedly instructed the driver to move into another vehicle, and whisked the couple away in their private car.

The abductors were said to have demanded N100m, which was later reduced to N50m during negotiation.

A Twitter handle, @eonsintelligence, in a post, claimed that the abductors released Ogundeji’s wife, adding that efforts were being made by the wife to get the N50m ransom to secure her husband’s release.

The post read, “The kidnapped couple, Pastor and Mrs Ogundeji, were abducted about 8pm around Dopemu, Agege. The wife was later released by the hooded criminals by 4am after demanding a ransom of N50m.

“The victims are RCCG pastors and the family are presently traumatised. The wife is sourcing the N50m ransom demand brought down from the initial N100m.”

A spokesperson for the RCCG, Olaitan Olubiyi, said the church had yet to get details of the incident.

“Maybe when we do, we will let you know,” he added.

Assailants abduct Lagos resident, steal valuables Meanwhile, a Lagos resident, Kachi Ogbuagu, was on Sunday kidnapped by gunmen on the premises of his church in the FESTAC Town area, Amuwo-Odofin LGA, Lagos.

The hoodlums reportedly whisked away Ogbuagu in a Lexus SUV around 11am.

Efforts by our correspondent to get details of the incident from one of his relatives, identified as Chika, proved abortive.

However, a social media influencer and #EndSARS campaigner, Olorunrinu Oduala, on her Twitter handle, @SavvyRinu, made a post on the abduction.

“I never imagined I would be posting a missing person report about you,” she wrote with a picture of the victim.

In an updated post on Tuesday, she said Ogbuagu had been located, adding that he was left for dead by the roadside.

“He was dropped by the roadside, left for dead, but now in the hospital & recovering. A lot of money was stolen by the kidnappers, but we will rise again,” the post read.

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