PUNCH Metro learnt that a medical doctor with St Francois Hospital, Onikan, identified simply as Dr Ajayi, who was kidnapped by the gang, was rescued unhurt by the police team.
Our correspondent gathered that Ajayi had been abducted on Friday, December 9, 2016, by the gunmen, who attacked the hospital and made away with some valuables.
It was learnt that the case was reported to the police, and a manhunt was launched for the suspects.
A few days after the attack, the suspects were said to have opened negotiation with the victim’s family, demanding a ransom.
A police source said, “When they started negotiation with the family and it was agreed that they would collect about N10m, the police were alerted to it.”
Another source said a police team, which consisted of operatives of the Rapid Response Squad and the anti-kidnapping unit of the police command, tracked some of the suspects to Delta State.
He said the suspects were later discovered to be holding their victim in a thick forest in the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.
“We discovered that their hideout was about nine kilometres into the forest. We pretended as if we had brought the ransom for them. The man they asked to take the ransom was the first to be arrested. We then asked him to lead us into their camp.
“As soon as the kidnappers sighted us, they opened fire and we retaliated with equal firepower. In the process, four of the kidnappers were shot dead.
“The doctor had, however, escaped to the side of the police and was shielded. He was rescued unhurt and has been reunited with his family members,” he added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident, adding that the state police would no longer condone kidnapping.
She said, “The car with which they kidnapped the doctor was recovered, with a gun and a large quantity of clothes, believed to belong to other victims. Meanwhile, the victim has been reunited with his family members.”
When our correspondent reached out to the hospital through a telephone line on its website, a female responder refused to comment.
“I cannot give you such information. The person to speak with you is not around because today is Sunday,” she said.
When our correspondent asked for the contact of the right official, the line went dead.
Kudos to our gallant Nigeria Police officers for rescuing the doctor alive …