Rev Fr Luigi Brena, 68, an Italian of Somascan Father’s Community who was kidnapped by hoodlums, has been rescued unhurt.
She said; “In our continuous efforts to curb crime and criminality in the state most especially kidnapping, the Edo state police Commissioner Cp Abutu Yaro, fdc has massively deployed police Operatives to most of the identified volatile areas in the state and the move has started yielding positive results.
“Consequent upon this, Operatives of the Edo state police command attached to Iguobazuwa Division on the 03/07/2022 at about 1745hrs received information that Rev. Fr Luigi Brena ‘M’ 64yrs, an Italian of Somascan Father’s community was kidnapped by hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers, along Ogunwenyi through Usen community in Ovia South West Local government area of Edo State.
“On receipt of the information, the police Operatives immediately swung into action and trailed the suspected kidnappers to their camp.
“The suspects on sighting the operatives opened fire on them, the superior firepower of the police operatives neutralized 3 of the kidnappers while the rest escaped into the forest with various degrees of gunshot injuries abandoning their victim.
“The victim was immediately rushed to Igbinedion Teaching Hospital, Okada for medical attention. Meanwhile, intensive bush combing is ongoing with the aim of arresting the Suspected kidnappers now on the run”, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Police Command in a separate incident announced that it has arrested 65-year-old Okoh Peter and four others for allegedly engaging in cultism in Benin.
Also, a motorcyclist who shot at policemen while trying to escape was arrested in Auchi.
The Command in a statement by its deputy PPRO, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, said the arrest was in continuation of the police quest to rid the state of criminal elements.
“With determination to check the menace and excesses of cultism and unnecessary killings in Edo State, men of anti cultism unit of Edo State Police Command have been working round the clock with area commands and divisions to ensure that the ugly trend is stopped.
“The move by the police has yielded tremendous success during operations. On the 02/07/2022 at about 17:15hrs, operatives of state Command, Ekiadolor sector while on routine patrol within Ekowe Community and environs intercepted some suspected cultists at the community’s youth house.
“The suspects on sighting the police took to their heels which attracted the attention of the operatives. The operatives chased and arrested five of them, Andrew Owhoyavwosa ‘M’ 22yrs, Joseph Meshak ‘M’ 25yrs, Osazee Solomon ‘M’ 35yr, Godswill Obasohan ‘M’ 25yrs, Charles Odiase ‘M’ 52yrs and Okoh Peter ‘M’ 68yrs.
“On the spot search conducted at the scene led to the recovery of two locally made single barrel guns, one locally cut to size single barrel gun, 30 live cartridges, a first aid box, other items as well as N37, 000,” she added.
“Also, the motorcyclist was arrested by the operatives of the Command in collaboration with vigilantes on 03/07/2022 at about 02:30hrs, while on routine patrol along Igbe Road in Auchi Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
“He was said to be acting suspiciously when he was accosted and in an attempt to evade arrest and escape shot at the police but was subdued and arrested.
“On the spot search conducted on him led to the recovery of one locally made cut to size single barrel gun, one live cartridge and one expended cartridge, while the motorcycle with Reg no. BEN-316-QP was also confiscated.
“During preliminary investigation, the suspect confessed to being a member of the dreaded Vikings Confraternity. He will be charged to court at the end of the investigation”, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police has assured residents of the state that the Command would not relent in its efforts to rid the state of criminal elements and their cohorts. He urged the public to continue to collaborate with the police by providing prompt and credible information that would lead to the arrest of criminals.