A policeman has been shot dead during a shoot-out between a joint military-police rescue team and kidnappers during a rescue operation of the President of Igueben Area Customary Court in Igueben Local Government Area of Edo State, Her Honour Precious Aigbonoga.
The victim, who sustained gunshot wounds from the criminals, has been reunited with her family. She is receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
The executive committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin Branch/Lion Bar, led by Chief Nosa Edo-Osagie, announced the rescue of Mrs. Aigbonoga, in a statement in Benin by the association’s Publicity Secretary, Osagie Usiobaifo.
Usiobaifo said: “A source told the chairman and his team (Dream Team) that His Honour was rescued unhurt in the early hours of January 12, 2022, following an attack launched against the kidnappers by police special anti-kidnapping squad, attached to the police headquarters, Benin City.
“It was gathered that in the process of rescuing the victim, there was an exchange of heavy gunfire between the police and the bandits, which led to one of the gallant police officers paying the ultimate price.
“The chairman of NBA, Benin branch, while appreciating the police for their prompt intervention in the rescue of the victim, also commiserates with the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Dankwara, on the loss of his gallant officer. The chairman also prays to God Almighty to grant the family of the slain officer the fortitude to bear the loss.
“The chairman and his team appreciate Nigerians, especially members of the Benin Bar, for standing by the family of Mrs Aigbonoga during her time in captivity.”
Edo Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, a Superintendent of Police (SP), who confirmed the rescue, said Mrs. Aigbonoga was rescued from the kidnappers’ den notoriously referred to as “scorpion hill inside the forest,” by a joint military-police team, while he also confirmed the killing of the policeman during the rescue operation.
Aigbonoga was kidnapped on January 9 around Ugoneki axis, on her way to the court in Igueben LGA of Edo.
She is the wife of a Benin-based lawyer, Afebu Aigbonoga, who is a Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Etsako West constituency 1 for Edo House of Assembly in the March 11, 2023 election.