Army Kills 3 Kidnap Suspects In Bloody Rescue Operation
Momoh Otinau is an oil magnate and this may have attracted kidnappers who took him away on February 17, 2018.
After his abduction, hunt for the kidnappers began and the Nigerian Army got involved.
On Tuesday, February 28, troops in search of the Mr Otinau closed in on the abductors in Kogi, in what could be considered a failed strategy, and a gun battle began.
The rescue operation became bloody, with the Army killing three of the kidnap suspects while a soldier was lost in the process.
Confirming the incident on Tuesday, the spokesman for the Command Army Records, Lokoja, Captain Weri Finikumor, told the News Agency of Nigeria that some of the suspected kidnappers have also been arrested and are helping the military in its investigations.
The gun battle that led to the death of the three suspects and a soldier happened in Okene area of Kogi on February 26.
It was gathered that the gun duel ensued when the soldiers were attempting to rescue the oil magnate, Otinau, from the suspected kidnappers that abducted him in front of a mosque in Okene while relaxing with friends.
A relation of the kidnapped victim, who has been negotiating with the kidnappers, had informed soldiers believed to be part of those prosecuting “exercise cat race” of his intention to go and drop a ransom for the kidnappers.
The soldiers then decided to follow him with the intention to rescue the victim and arrest the suspects.
It did not go as planned, as the rescue operation turned fatal, due to poor strategy.
The relation of the abducted person had arrived at the money pick-up point with soldiers and when the kidnappers saw this they opened fire.
Exchange of gunshots followed and in the midst of it, a soldier and three suspected kidnappers lost their lives while Otinau also sustained gunshot injury.
A source at the General Hospital, Lokoja, also confirmed to reporters that the corpse of the soldier was deposited at the morgue.
Military personnel had been deployed to the state for "Exercise Cat Race" and Finikumor assured residents that the operation would curtail criminality and boost security in the state.
He said that the army would make details of the exercise public as soon as it was concluded.