A statement by 81 Division’s Acting Deputy Director, Public Relations, Lt.-Col. Olaolu Saudi, said: “At about 3 a.m. on Sunday, April 9, a patrol team led by a Nigerian Army officer responded to a distress call.
“The distress call was from the police requesting for reinforcement because some suspected criminals had invaded Yewa Community, Isawo in Ikorodu, Lagos State and abducted some persons.
“The combined team in a swift response was able to successfully foil the kidnap attempt and rescued all the abducted victims.
“Nine of the victims, including an infant of about two years old were rescued from the criminals.
“However, on their way back, they were ambushed by a suspected criminal gang.
“During the clearance of the ambush, unfortunately four policemen lost their lives while the army officer who led the operation sustained gunshot wounds and died on the way to the hospital.
“Similarly, four of the rescued victims of the kidnap, including the infant, sustained injuries during the encounter.
“They have all been evacuated to a hospital and are responding to treatment,” the statement said.
It added that the Commander, 9 Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Elias Attu and Commissioner of Police, Lagos state, Fatai Owoseni, had ordered a manhunt of the criminals.
“Meanwhile, a combined team of the Police and military is in hot pursuit of the suspected kidnappers who fled the scene carrying the dead bodies of their colleagues and the wounded.
“The combined team is on their trail as they have vowed that the death of the gallant officer and men of the Nigerian Police who fought bravely for the success of the operation will not be in vain.
“We would like to use this medium to implore anyone with useful information to come forward.
“We are also reassuring the general public, especially the residents of Isawo community in Ikorodu, of their continued safety,” the statement said.
Also the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Fatai Owoseni, has said the command was working assiduously with sister security agencies to arrest the suspected militants that killed the five officers and a civilian on Sunday.
In a statement on Sunday, the Lagos Police chief said the security operatives were killed while on a rescue mission in the area.
According to him, militants in Isawo area of Ikorodu laid ambushed for the operatives who were trying to rescue some kidnap victims.
“At about 1a.m of today Sunday April 9, the Police received distress call that a group of militants/kidnappers had entered Owutu-Isawo in Ikorodu through the thick swampy forest surrounding the area.
“They were reported to have kidnapped some residents. In response, the Police and the Army immediately mobilised personnel to the area, where the kidnapped victims were rescued.
“Sadly, however, five out of the gallant, brave and patriotic officers lost their lives during the rescue operation. One of them is a Nigerian Army Captain, while the remaining four are Policemen. One of the residents in the area also died.
“We pray that the God Almighty reward their loyalty to the Nation with Paradise and grant their souls peaceful rest.
“We also pray that God gives their respective families the courage to bear the loss,” Owoseni said.
“The Command will like to assure the public that with synergy from sister security agencies, the criminal elements involved in this dastardly act shall be apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law.
“ We will continue to rely on the good people of Lagos State for useful information and their partnership,” he said.
The commissioner said that the officers were killed while trying to rescue some people abducted by the unidentified gunmen, stressing that one army Captain and a civilian were among the six persons killed.
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