Benue demolishes building used to guard commissioner’s wife, kidnappers killed



The Benue State government on Monday demolished the building where the Operation Zenda the security team killed three suspected kidnappers and saved the wife of the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys, Ms. Ann Uneege.

Governor Samuel Ortom, who was at the headquarters of the state police command in Makurdi, told reporters that he had ordered the building to be demolished in accordance with the provisions of the law on the prohibition of kidnappings, hostages, kidnappings, sects and other offenses.

The building, located in the BIPC district, Nyinma plan, Makurdi, was shot down by a bulldozer.

Speaking on the incident, the governor’s security adviser Col. Paul Hemba (retired) said the action was in accordance with state law, adding that the structure was being used by kidnappers to guard their victims and negotiate ransoms.

Hemba urged landlords to ensure proper profiling of potential tenants before giving them their homes to avoid demolition of such assets.

The security adviser said the right to occupy the land, where the house was built, would be revoked according to state law.

He noted that three suspected kidnappers were killed when police raided the house during a rescue mission on Monday.

The police were able to rescue the commissioner’s wife and her driver, who were kidnapped last Thursday around 6 p.m. in Makurdi.

Two shotguns and an AK-47 rifle were recovered from the deceased kidnappers.

Ortom said the feat recorded by police would send a strong message to other criminals that Benue was not a safe haven for them.

The governor said: “I am here at the police headquarters to congratulate the AIG and the immediate past police commissioner and the Operation Zenda agents, who have come together to smash these pharaohs who are terrorizing the state in recent weeks.

“They were able to apprehend the kidnappers after a fierce gun duel. They also managed to rescue the commissioner’s wife and her driver. We will not give up despite all the challenges.

The command’s public relations officer DSP Catherine Anene, who confirmed the rescue of the commissioner’s wife, said three suspected kidnappers died from gunshot wounds during the rescue operation.

Anene added that five suspects had been arrested, while others were on the run.

She said an AK-47 rifle loaded with double magazines and two double barreled rifles loaded with ammunition were recovered.

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