Ex-Edo lawmaker, customary court president abducted


A former Edo State House of Assembly member, Festus Edughele, has been kidnapped by suspected gunmen in Ubeaja, Edo State.

The victim was said to be returning from Orhionmwon to Benin, when the incident happened.

This is coming three days after 32 train passengers were kidnapped in the state.

Edughele was said to be travelling to Benin to board a plane to Abuja when he was abducted by the gunmen, who took him into the bush.

A former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Festus Ebea, confirmed the incident.

Ebea said, “He was kidnapped this morning (Monday) in Ubeaja on his way from Orhionmwon to Benin. He intended to take the train for Ubeaja but he could not do so since train services have been suspended.

“The family is aware of his kidnap; the police in that area have been informed and we hope action will be taken to rescue him.”

In a related development, the President of the Igueben Area Customary Court, Mrs Precious Aigbonoga, was kidnapped on Monday in Ugoneki, on her way to court in the Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State.

The Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association, Festus Usiobaifo, said the NBA was working with the state police command to ensure she regained her freedom.

The statement read in part, “Her honour is the wife of our colleague, Mr Afebu Aigbonoga, PDP candidate,  Etsako West Constituency 1.

“The Chairman of the Lion Bar, Chief Nosa Francis Edo-Osagie, is deeply sad by this news and condemns, in strong  terms, the worrisome insensitivity of these bandits in kidnapping Mrs Precious Aigbonoga, an easygoing, gentle, and hard working judicial officer.”

13 arrested over abducted Benue commissioner

Meanwhile, the police in Benue State have arrested 13 people allegedly involved in the kidnap of the state Commissioner of Housing/Urban Development, Ekpe Ogbu, and others in the Benue South senatorial district.

No fewer than five people were abducted in the senatorial district in December, including a Catholic priest, the commissioner, his driver, aide and one other.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, said the state Commissioner of Police, Wale Abass, ordered the deployment of tactical teams to the southern part of the state over the incident.

“One Mohammed Usman Omachoko, who specialises in preparing protection charms for the kidnappers; David Ejembi, Aondongu Akighir, aka Too Proud, and Teryima Peter, were arrested while they were on their way to purchase guns for the group.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of nine other gang members; two locally-made Baretta pistol loaded with 10 rounds of 9mm ammunition were recovered from them. Suspects confessed to the crime,” the statement added.

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