Police arrest three for kidnapping journalist


TRACKING>>Policemen attached to the newly-established Operation Puff Adder have arrested three suspected kidnappers of Channels Television’s Abuja reporter, Mr. Friday Okeregbe. Okeregbe was abducted on March 22, at Lugbe, a suburb of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Unconfirmed reports said he was released upon the payment of ransom. Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, who broke the news yesterday in a statement, said the suspects were arrested on April 9, following “intelligence report”.

Mba gave the names of the suspects as Hanniel Patrick (29) from Akwa Ibom State, Abdulwahab Isah (28) and Salisu Mohammed (32) both from Kogi State. According to him, though the kidnap victim was not the target of his abductors, he was, nonetheless, taken to their hideout somewhere at Karimo, another suburb of Abuja, where he was kept incommunicado. Items recovered from the suspected kidnappers, Mba said, included a locally-fabricated revolver gun, three live AK47 ammunition, a battle axe, phones, as well as masks.

He said: “In line with the IGP’s stated commitment to curb all forms of crime and criminality, especially incidences of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country, police operatives attached to Operation Puff Adder, acting on intelligence report, on 9th April 9, 2019 about 6.30a.m. arrested three notorious persons involved in the kidnap of Channels Television’s ‘staff’, Mr. Friday Okeregbe. “Meanwhile, investigation reveals that Mr. Friday Okeregbe was not originally the intended target of the vicious criminals.

However, on that fateful day, 22nd March, 2019, at 7.45p.m., he was kidnapped when the kidnappers saw him parking his vehicle at a location in Lugbe, Abuja. “Investigation further reveals that the victim was taken to the kidnappers’ den somewhere in Karimo, Abuja and kept incommunicado afterwards.” Mba, however, said efforts were being intensified to arrest other fleeing members of the gang, even as he conveyed the assurances of the Acting Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, of the readiness of security agencies to address security challenges across the country.