A Magistrate with the Kogi State Judiciary, Sam Unwuchola, has been kidnapped on the Ajaokuta-Lokoja Road.
The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that the magistrate was kidnapped at Jimgbe, near Salem University, at about 7pm on Thursday.
According to an authoritative source in the state judiciary, the gunmen shot and wounded the magistrate’s friend, whose name was yet to be known, saying the friend had been admitted at an undisclosed medical facility in Lokoja.
The source also said the victims ran into the hoodlums who opened fire on them, thereby forcing them to stop, adding that the kidnappers had demanded N100 million ransom from the wife of the magistrate.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ali Janga, said the police had commenced investigation into the matter.
NAN reports that Unwuchola, a 2002 Law graduate of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma in Edo State, is the President, Upper Area Court, Onyedega in Ibaji Local Government Area of the state.
The battle against kidnapping and other forms of criminality in the state began about five months ago when the state government ordered the demolition of 13 houses belonging to arrested kidnappers in the central senatorial district of the state.
The Special Adviser on Security to the Governor, Navy Commodore Jerry Omodara (retired), told journalists in Okene that the exercise would continue until the state was rid of kidnapping and other criminality.
Omodara said: “The Kogi State Government will not relent efforts to flush out criminal elements in their hide outs.”
He warned that anybody caught aiding and abetting crimes in the state would also not be spared, irrespective of status in the society.
The governors’ aide said the state government had no choice than to take the drastic action, in view of the havoc meted on innocent good people of the state by hoodlums in recent times.
He said the state government had also inaugurated 300-man-joint security outfit dedicated to fighting kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and other violent crimes, code named: “Operation Total Freedom,” to further check criminality in the state.
Omodara said members of the outfit were drawn from the police, the army, the navy and the National Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The state government recently handed over 114 patrol vehicles to the various security agencies in the state to boost their effort in fighting crime.