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Crime & Punishment of Friday, 17 March 2023


Gunmen kidnap immigration officer posted for election duty in Cross River

File photo to illustrate the story File photo to illustrate the story

An Immigration Officer, Imojara Imojara, posted for election duty in Cross River, south-south Nigeria, has been kidnapped by gunmen in the state.

Mr Imojara, who is an assistant superintendent in the Nigeria Immigration Service was kidnapped along with three others along the Biase axis of the Calabar-Ogoja Highway in the state, according to a report by an online newspaper in the state.

The incident occurred on Thursday.

The police spokesperson in the state, Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, said the police were working on getting the victims released.

Mrs Ugbo, a police superintendent, however, said the police were unaware if the kidnappers have contacted the family of the victims.

The newspaper, Converseer, which reported the incident, said the kidnappers were demanding N50 million ransom.

According to the newspaper, the four victims were traveling in a Toyota Corolla vehicle when the kidnappers attacked and whisked them away.

Cross River, like other states in the country, has witnessed a surge in kidnap-for-ransom within the last two years.

PREMIUM TIMES last week reported how the Troops of the 13 Brigade Nigerian Army in Calabar, rescued the Commissioner for Women Affairs in the state, Gertrude Njar, after over a month in captivity.

She was kidnapped on 1 February in the Mayne Avenue area, Calabar South.

This newspaper also in December 2022 reported how four persons, including a former accountant-general of the state, Rose Bassey, were kidnapped by gunmen in the state.

She was abducted along with three others along the Uyanga-Okomita area of the Ikom-Calabar highway.

A month earlier, PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the police rescued eight travelers that were abducted by gunmen along the Ikom-Ogoja highway in the state.

“Eight of the victims are in safe hands while the ninth person escaped,” the police spokesperson had said, dismissing reports that the kidnapping was carried out by herdsmen.

The gunmen were said to have emerged from the forest and shot at vehicles to force them to stop.