Following reports that 18 Kano traders were kidnapped on the Okene-Lokoja highway, the Kogi State Police Command has denied the event ever took place in the state.
The Police in a statement by its spokesman, DSP William Ovye Aya said,
“The Command wish to state categorically clear that no such incident occurred nor reported any where in Kogi State. The news of the purported kidnap of the 18 Kano traders in Kogi State is fake and capable of misleading the public on the Security situation in the State.
“It is pertinent to let the public be aware that, the Kogi State Police Command in collaboration with other Security agencies is determined to guarantee the protection of lives and property in the State.
“The Commissioner of Police, Ede Ayuba Ekpeji psc (+) urges members of the Press as well as social media handlers to always find out the true nature of incident and its location before publishing the story so as not to misinform the general public and create mistrust among the good people of Kogi State and Nigeria in general.”
Media reports said unknown gunme kidnapped the traders from Kano state who were on a commercial journey to Abia state.
The victims, according to one report, are from the popular Kantin Kwari textile market, and were traveling to Aba in Abia state to buy goods when their vehicle was attacked by the gunmen and they were taken to the bush.
The traders were said to have left Kano on Sunday and the Managing Director of Kantin Kwari Market Management Board, Alhaji Abba Bello told Daily Trust that “the kidnapped traders are 18, but we have so far confirmed the names of 12, but we suspect that their number could reach 18.
“They were all traveling to Aba in Abia state when the gunmen attacked them along Lokoja-Okene expressway in Kogi state.
“People are saying the victims are up to 20 or even more, but from what we can confirm so far, they are 18,” Alhaji Bello added.
On whether the kidnappers have so far contacted their families for ransom, the MD said he has not officially gotten the information.
However, other sources have reported that the abductors earlier demanded N50million before they later agreed to collect N27million from their families as ransom.
Traders from Kantin Kwari market, mostly those running small-scale businesses usually travel by road to buy ‘Made in Aba’ yards from Aba, Abia’s commercial city.
▪︎ Additional report by Faily Trust