Members of a local vigilante group and local hunters in Akunu Akoko in Akoko North-East Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Sunday, shot dead a member of a suspected kidnapping syndicate and rescued seven victims abducted by the gunmen.
The kidnappers abducted seven people on Saturday while travelling to the northern part of the country and marched them into the forest in the area.
The gunmen stopped the victims’ vehicle at a boundary community between Ondo State and Edo State.
According to a source, the people of the Akunu Akoko noticed the empty vehicle and suspected the occupants of the vehicle had been abducted.
He said the incident was reported to the regent of the town, Princess Tolani Orogun, who ordered local hunters and vigilante to comb the entire forest and secure the release of the kidnapped victims.
The exercise yielded result as the kidnappers were rounded up in their den, leading to an exchange of gunfire between the criminals and the local hunters.
The hoodlums, however, escaped with gunshot wounds while one of them was shot dead. The seven abducted victims were rescued unhurt.
Confirming the development, the Police Area Commander in charge of Ikare Akoko, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Razak Rauf, saying that seven victims had regained their freedom while the remains of the kidnappers killed during the gun duel has been deposited at the State General hospital morgue in Ikare Akoko.
He, however, said men of the state Police Command have commenced an investigation into the matter while detectives from the command have been drafted to the forest in order to apprehend the suspected kidnappers.
He assured that the criminals would be arrested by the police in the state and brought to book.
The chairman of the Akunu Akoko community, Mr Ade Aboginije, has appealed to the state government not to relent in providing security in the area, noting that criminal elements have been perpetrating crimes in the area.
He explained that the criminals have been coming from Edo and Kogi State to carry out their nefarious activities because Akunu Akoko serves as a gateway to the other two states.