A Police Sergeant, Sheddrach Stephen, who was among the security operatives who stormed Kidnappers’ den in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom state, was reportedly gunned down as an INEC official and 8 other kidnap victims were freed.
A total of 9 kidnap victims, including an INEC official, Mr Otobong Sylvester Ukpong, six elderly women, two men and a 14-year old girl were freed by the security operatives as confirmed by the state Commissioner for Police, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi during a press briefing at the Force Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo on Saturday.
The police boss who disclosed that a rifle belonging to the slain police sergeant and various other items including bulletproof vests, and ammunitions were recovered, further stated that this was in continuation of the operation of 16 August, 2018, where a young boy of 9 years old, Joseph Monday Udo of Ikot Inyang Abia in Ukanafun LGA, and a yet to be identified young lady who is presently in coma, were rescued.
Among the rescued kidnap victims are; are Otobong Silvester Ukpong from Iwekem community in Etim Ekpo; Mrs Darlington Moses, Ikot Ama Ikpe, Etim Ekpo; Mrs Victoria Peter, Ikot Inyang Abia, Ukanafun; Mrs Eno Itohowo, Ikot Inyang Abia, Ukanafun; Mrs Eno Peter Udoh, Ikot Inyang Abia, Ukanafun; Mrs Betsy Ime, Ikot Inyang Abia, Ukanafun; Imaobong Sunday Thomas (14 years), Ikot Inyang Abia, Ukanafun; Mr Uduak Fred, Ikot Esop, Etim Ekpo, and Mrs Esther Jimmy Okpon, Ikot Inyang Abia, Ukanafun.
Recounting his ordeal in the hands of the kidnappers, INEC official, Mr Ukpong, said that he was on his way to work on that fateful day (5th June, 2018) when about three fully armed men on motorcycles accosted him and dispossessed everything he had including his money and mobile phones, and beat him up before covering his face and took him into the thick forest. They demanded the sum of N10 million as ransom for his freedom.
He was rescued after INEC in the state, threatened that elections would not be conducted in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun LGAs if its staff, Otobong was not rescued. The other victims of kidnap, were taken to the forest and held captive as their abductors demanded varying amounts ranging from N500,000 to N10 million naira each for their freedom.