Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Suspected kidnapping gang leader killed in Ondo


Soldiers attached to Operation Delta Safe (ODS), a Joint Task Force (JTF), yesterday killed the suspected leader of a militant group terrorising Ishawo in Ikorodu area of Lagos State and neighbouring creeks. The suspected militant leader, Ossy Ibori, was reportedly shot dead at 3 a.m at Ajakpa in Ondo State when he led his gang to attack the troops deployed to protect the area.

A soldier was killed and three others injured in the operation. Security forces were said to have overpowered the militants, killing Ibori during a gun duel. Other members of his gang reportedly jumped into the river.

Sources said the troops recovered weapons from the fleeing criminals. Another account said Ibori was lured out of Ishawo creek to Ajakpa with the help of his lover, where the soldiers trailed him to. Ossy said to have been the kingpin and among the masterminds of high profile murders and kidnappings within Lagos and Ogun states, allegedly opened fire when he sighted the military men.

Confirming the incident, Lagos State Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni said efforts were on to apprehend fleeing members of Ibori’s gang. The police chief said most of the militants who fled Lagos creeks because of the current operations, retreated to Ondo, their base.

He said: “Around 3 a.m today (Monday), a squad of soldiers posted to dislodge the militants who have been wreaking havoc in some parts of Lagos, engaged the criminals in a shootout at Ajakpa. Suspected leader of the gang, known as OC, was killed. Efforts are ongoing to arrest other gang members.”

JTF spokesman Major Abubakar Abdullahi said: “Troops of Operation Delta Safe (ODS), in line with its mandate to rid Niger Delta of all criminal acts of militancy and kidnappings, in a special operation, repelled an attack on troops’ location around Ajakpa community in the creeks of Southern area of Ondo State last night.

“The attack was led by one notorious gang leader, Ossy Ibori, with a hideout at Ajakpa in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State. The (militant) leader was gunned down during the gun duel with some of his gang members. His body was identified by some of the locals. “While the search for other criminals who jumped into the water with gunshot wounds is ongoing, troops recovered one AK-47 rifle and four magazines.

“Criminal gangs, led by late Ossy Ibori have been terrorising parts of Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states prior to this operation. They committed many atrocities, threatening the peace and security of the areas.

“Last month, the gang killed an Army Captain and four policemen at Ikorodu. Also, late last year, they abducted students and workers of a secondary school. The criminals, in addition, carried out several attacks on Ese-Odo community around Ajakpa, Safarogbo and Balowo areas.

“The need to flush them out from their hideout became necessary to ensure peace and security in Ondo State. Sadly in the process, one gallant soldier paid the supreme price while three others sustained gunshot wounds. They have since been moved to a military hospital for proper medical attention.

“While the operation is ongoing, let me appeal to law-abiding residents of the affected communities to remain calm, vigilant and support our troops with valuable information on the whereabouts of other criminals.”

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