The orgy of kidnapping in the Benin axis of Edo State rose to its crescendo over the weekend as suspected kidnappers, armed with guns, intercepted a hearse conveying a corpse to the Eastern part of the country and kidnapped the brother of the deceased, who was in the ambulance.
Reporters At Large learnt that the incident, happened at Ahor end of the Benin Bye-Pass, with the kidnappers killing another unidentified motorist who ran into the hail of bullets fired at the hearse’s driver.
The body of the deceased was being conveyed from Lagos to Enugu when the men of the underworld aborted the journey, having forced the driver to a halt and made away with the younger brother of the deceased into the bush and damaged the ambulance badly.
The driver of the ambulance, with registration number Lagos KRD 782 GO, Salami Orijiwa, while narrating the incident, said that they left Lagos as early as 6 am on Saturday to make the journey early to Enugu.
“I carried a corpse in the ambulance and we were coming from Lagos and going to Enugu to bury him and the younger brother of the deceased was sitting with me in the front seat of the vehicle.
“When I first sighted them, I thought they were policemen because one of them was holding a gun on the right-hand side of the road and then I saw another one on the left carrying cutlass, at that point I thought they were thieves and then suddenly I saw another person in front who pointed a gun at us and shot, I quickly bent down inside the vehicle and that was how I lost control and veered into the bush and fell into a ditch.
“The bullet hit the vehicle behind me and the driver died on the spot,” he disclosed.
It was further gathered that the family of the deceased was already negotiating with the abductors who were said to have demanded the sum of N5million as ransom before they would release their victim.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police Edo Police, Edo Police Command, Mr Philip Ogbadu, said he was in a meeting and directed inquiries to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chidi Nwabuzor, who did not pick all the calls to his line.