NAF officer foils kidnapping attempt in Abuja, nabs 3 suspects

A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officer, Air Commodore John Ijudigal, has foiled a kidnapping attempt by suspected criminals popularly known as ‘one-chance’ in Abuja.

The incident occurred at Accra Road, Wuse Zone 5 in Abuja on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, leading to the apprehension of three of the suspects and the eventual rescue of two of the kidnapped victims.

The NAF spokesperson, Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet, who revealed this via a statement on Saturday, said the incident occurred at about 7:28 p.m. when Ijudigal was commuting home in his staff car after work.

Gabkwet said the NAF officer, while heading home, came across a distressing scene with an Abuja-painted taxi reversing at high speed as the terrified passengers inside screamed for help.

He stated: “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. 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, Air Commodore Ijudigal contacted the nearest police post and personally ensured the three criminals were handed over to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, Mr. Benneth Igweh, at his office.”

Gabkwet further quoted the FCT Commissioner of Police as commending Ijudigal for his courage, “highlighting that his intervention not only foiled a robbery/kidnapping attempt but also played crucial role in apprehending criminals who have constituted a security risk to law-abiding citizens of the FCT.”

He added that the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has since commended the NAF officer for his bravery and act of selfless service.

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