Kidnappers attack police, take over checkpoint in Edo


* Suspected cable vandal electrocuted in Edo

By Jethro Ibileke

A gang of kidnappers has reportedly taken over a police checkpoint in Edo State. The State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, disclosed the incident on Monday in Benin, during a security briefing with all security chiefs in the State.

He further disclosed that the daring kidnappers also attacked some policemen on patrol at the unnamed checkpoint.

“We heard some kidnappers took over a checkpoint and attacked some policemen on patrol, but none lost their lives in the incident and this has prompted the government to commence a total revamp of the vigilante structure,” Obaseki said.

Meanwhile, the Governor has ordered the reaccreditation of all operatives of the State’s Security Vigilante Network, numbering over 6,500.

He said the order is in a renewed effort to strengthen the State’s security architecture to combat crime and ensure the security of lives and property of residents.

This is even as he said his government will continue to collaborate with security agencies to combat crime and criminality in the State.

“We are having this security briefing this morning to let the public know the measures that security agencies and the Edo State Government are taking to secure lives and properties in Edo State.

“We all are aware of the security challenges in the State this weekend, particularly in Edo North, where in the guise of burial some citizens resulted to arson and assault on security agencies in Oja Village.

“The government can’t fold its hands and allow a breakdown of law and order in the State as appropriate actions will be taken and we have resolved to deal with what happened last Saturday.

“We will not accept a situation where citizens attack members of the security agencies, it’s not acceptable. As a government, we will deal with those involved in the incident,” Obaseki said.

Commenting on the re-accreditation of the vigilante personnel, the Governor said:

“Commencing today, only the vigilante personnel trained in the Nigerian Police Training School under the arrangement with the Edo State Government will be allowed to serve in Edo State.

“All vigilante groups and persons trained so far, about 6,500 men, are required to report to the Police Staff College where they received accreditation training. The commander will be issuing instructions on the specific dates for reaccreditation.”

He added, “After the reaccreditation, anybody or group acting as vigilantes without being trained by the Edo State Government will be dealt with like criminals. Come out for the exercise, as we want to re-identify them and put them in our security information system software that we have developed. It will help monitor and track their activities.”

The governor, while reassuring sustained partnership with security agencies in the State, said, “The State will collaborate with Federal agencies, manning 24/7 hours Command and Control Center to ensure any incident, crime or breach of security is reported and all security agencies are in full alert to deal with such.

“Citizens are encouraged to call the security emergency numbers 112 or 739. These numbers should be called in any time of distress or security breaches in Edo State.”

* Suspected cable vandal electrocuted in Edo

A yet-to-be-identified man suspected to be an electric cable vandal has been electrocuted in Jattu, Etsako West local government area of Edo State.

The victim being evacuated

It was gathered that residents of the community woke up in the morning to meet the corpse of the suspect dangling on two electric poles on which a transformer is hanging.

A source in the area alleged that the deceased who he said should be in his late 30s, had successfully cut the cable beneath the transformer and packed it aside.

“We are surprised to wake up this morning and observe that a corpse was dangling on the electric poles.

“We saw some cable he cut, but he also climbed up to cut the long cables to connect the low tension lines.

“It means he was caught up by when the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) restored power to our area in the midnight,” said the source.

Meanwhile, officials of the BEDC in the area have evacuated the corpse of the suspected vandal from the pole.

Edo Police Command spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said he was yet to be briefed about the development.