A former councillor and Supervisor for Works in the Bakassi Local Government Area, Mr. Bartholomew Effiom, has been rescued by the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the Cross River State Police Command less than 10 hours after he was kidnapped by gunmen.
Effiom (46) was abducted by five armed men around 7pm on the premises of his father-in-law’s house in the Calabar South area of the metropolis, where he had gone to pick his wife and kid.
He told Southern City News that the kidnappers had abducted him in the presence of his wife and forced him into the back seat of his Toyota Camry with number plate, Cross River BNS 502 AA, and drove towards the outskirt of the metropolis.
Narrating his 10-hour encounter with the abductors before he was rescued by the SARS, Effiom said he was about to pick his wife when five gunmen appeared and kidnapped him.
He said, “I started the car and wanted to reposition it for my wife to enter and suddenly five guys appeared from nowhere. One of them raised his shirt up to indicate to me that he had a pistol on him.
“Within the split of a second, they had pushed me into the back of the vehicle and they drove the vehicle out of the compound with an instruction that I should put my face down.
“Somehow, I managed to raise my head and I saw that they were moving towards the Murtala Mohammed Highway. After a while, they moved me out of my car to a Honda Accord that they probably had stolen.
“Not too far from the point where they abandoned my car, I overheard them interacting with someone selling roasted plantain in the neighbourhood, but I did not know the area.
“When they got to their destination, they made me to lie down behind the car with my legs tied until about 4am. At about that time, they started movement again, but this time, not quite 10 minutes after take-off, we were accosted by the police who asked the driver to park.
“The driver was on top speed and the police had to pull the trigger to make him know that they were serious. At that point, one of the kidnappers told the driver to pull over. He did and all the kidnappers immediately ran out of the vehicle. I untied myself and came out with my hands up.”
Explaining the intervention of the SARS team, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Henry Fadairo, said the men acted on a distress call that was received at about 11.30pm on April 7.
“On April 7, 2016 at about 11.30pm while on township patrol, SARS men received distress call from the control room. The message was that two cars were snatched and the owner of one of the cars was also kidnapped.
“The SARS team immediately proceeded to Bakoko community in Calabar Municipal LGA where the Toyota Camry was sighted parked at a gateway. The team surveyed the area for a while. In the early hours of April 8, about 5.30am, the kidnappers appeared with their victim.
“They were overpowered by the SARS men after sporadic shootings and escaped into a nearby bush. The kidnapped victim and the two stolen vehicles were recovered,” he said.
(The Punch Newspaper)