Some unknown gunmen on Saturday, February 6, intercepted a hearse at the Benin bypass in Edo State and abducted the younger brother of the deceased who was taking his elder brother’s corpse from Lagos to Enugu for burial.
Though the driver of the hearse was not abducted, the driver of the vehicle driving behind the hearse was reportedly killed by a stray bullet from the gunmen who shot sporadically.
A resident of Ahor community which is along the bypass, Osamudiamen Odia told Premium Times that he was among those who went to rescue the driver who fell into a ditch after the encounter with the kidnappers.
Odia said;
“Upon sighting the ambulance, the armed bandits opened fire on the driver but he managed to escape the bullets of the dare-devil kidnappers. The driver of the vehicle behind him was not lucky as he was hit by stray bullets and died instantly.
“The sporadic gunshots forced the vehicle driver to an emergency stop and the vehicle fell into a nearby ditch. The younger brother of the deceased who was sitting in front was kidnapped and taken into the bush.
“The journey was subsequently aborted because the ambulance was destroyed. The dead body was taken to another mortuary along the Benin/Auchi road axis of Benin City.”
Driver of the hearse, Orejuwa Salami who recounted his ordeal also said;
“I carried this dead from Lagos and the destination was Enugu. The body of the dead man had been in the mortuary in Lagos and it was being conveyed to Enugu State for burial.
“When I saw the kidnappers I thought they were policemen and they started firing on sighting us. I had to bend down and the bullet hit the driver behind me.”
While it was gathered that the kidnappers are demanding for a N5 million ransom, police spokesperson in the state, Chidi Nwabuzor said some kidnap suspects were recently arrested along the bypass and security has been beefed up along the route.