Two unidentified hoodlums were killed in a gun battle between Lagos police officers and suspected kidnappers in a woodland near Imota-Emuren in the state’s Ikorodu district.
One of the suspects, Peter Thomas, 25, was caught, according to state Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu, who said that the woodland was infamous for detaining kidnap victims and collecting ransoms.
This was revealed by Odumosu during a press conference held at the command headquarters in Ikeja on Thursday.
The hoodlums once kidnapped a businessman, Lukman Onabanjo, aka Bugon, according to him.
Onabanjo was about to drive onto his farm when the kidnappers opened fire, snatched him away, and demanded N200 million for his release, according to Metro.
Onabanjo had been reunited with his family since then.
While presenting the suspect at command headquarters, the police chief stated that the police raided the hideout around 11.50 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, following days of intelligence surveillance of the gang.
“In a carefully coordinated operation that lasted hours, operators from the command’s tactical teams busted the armed gang in its criminal hideout located in the middle of the deep forest, in coordination with the Imota Police Division,” he stated.
“Recent kidnapping events in the state have strengthened the command’s resolve not to allow criminals to transform the state into an abduction theater. When the dare-devil kidnappers saw the cops, they engaged them in a shootout that lasted several hours.
“The operatives answered the heavy fire with a determined attitude. Two of the alleged armed kidnappers were tragically injured in the ensuing gun battle and later died while being transported to a hospital for medical treatment.
“One was apprehended while still alive. Other gang members managed to flee with bullet wounds. The police have launched a manhunt and a security operation to apprehend them.
Peter Thomas, 25, of no permanent address, has been arrested.”
Two AK-47 rifles, three AK-47 magazines with 46 live ammo, a knife, N10,000, one iTel phone, and one SIM card were among the items confiscated from the group, according to Odumosu.
Odumosu claimed several suspects had been apprehended while fielding queries from journalists about the ongoing rescue of Air Vice Marshal Sikiru Smith (retd.) who was abducted in the Ajah area of Lagos State.
“Investigation is still underway; there is information that you give out that will jeopardize the investigation because people who are holding him in jail may be monitoring what is being circulated,” he stated.
“We want to reassure the public that we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to save him. Allowing 1000 offenders to elude prosecution is preferable to allowing one innocent life to be lost.
“Regarding the voice message you’re referring to (recorded by the victim’s driver to raise the alarm on the kidnapping), we’re looking into it; some suspects are in our custody, but that’s all I can say because his life is more vital than anything else.”