NAF spokesperson, NAF spokesperson, Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet

How Air Force officer rescued kidnapped victims in Abuja

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A serving Nigerian Air Force officer, Air Commodore John Ijudigal, has recused two persons held hostage by suspected one-chance operators along the Wuse Zone 5 area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The officer was said to be heading home after closing from work around 7.28 p.m. when he saw a vehicle reversing at a high speed with people inside calling for help.

Ijudigal, according to a statement on Saturday by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigeria Air Force, Air Vice Marshal, Edward Gabkwet, subsequently joined another vehicle to give the suspected one-chance operators a chase and used his official vehicle to block the escape route for the criminals.

He stated that in a panicked state, the ‘one-chance’ vehicle driver collided with Idjudigal’s official vehicle, causing substantial damage to both cars.

Gabkwet added that the collision made the ‘one-chance’ vehicle skid into a nearby garden and immediately after, Ijudigal exited his vehicle and pursued one of the occupants of the ‘one-chance’ taxi, who had fled into a nearby bush.

The statement read, “A serving officer successfully foiled a robbery/kidnapping attempt by suspected criminals popularly known as ‘one-chance’ in Abuja. The incident occurred on February 14, 2024, at Accra Road, Wuse Zone 5, leading to the apprehension of three of the suspects and the eventual rescue of two of the kidnapped victims.

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“The incident unfolded at about 7.28 p.m. as Air Commodore Ijudigal was commuting home in his staff car after work, when he suddenly came across a distressing scene: An Abuja-painted taxi (Mazda 323, registration BWR 232 XB) reversing at high speed, with terrified passengers inside screaming for help.

“In pursuit of the taxi was a black Toyota Land Cruiser. Instinctively, Air Commodore Ijudigal immediately joined in the pursuit by using his official vehicle to block the escape route of the criminals.

“The driver of the ‘one-chance’ vehicle, in a state of panic, then collided with Air Commodore Idjudigal’s official vehicle, resulting in significant damage to both cars. The impact caused the ‘one-chance’ vehicle to skid into a nearby garden. Following the collision, Air Commodore Ijudigal promptly exited his vehicle and chased after one of the occupants of the ‘one-chance’ taxi, who had fled into a nearby bush. ”

Ijudigal, with the assistance of onlookers, arrested the suspects and handed them over to the FCT Commissioner of Police, Benneth Igweh.

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Gabkwet added, “With the assistance of onlookers gathered at the accident scene, the driver of the ‘one-chance’ vehicle, along with two other suspects (a male and a female), were apprehended, while two female victims were rescued.

“Subsequently, Ijudigal contacted the nearest police post and personally ensured the three criminals were handed over to the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Benneth Igweh, at his office.”

Gabkwet said the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, had since commended the senior officer for his bravery and act of selfless service.

The Damaged Official Vehicle
The Suspected One-Chance Operators’ Vehicle

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