Three soldiers earlier arrested for kidnapping by anti Kidnapping Squad of the Edo State Police Command have allegedly escaped from lawful custody of the military.
A security source identified the soldiers as Corporal Ahmed Collins with Army Number 13/ NA/70/4960 serving with 813 Battalion, Katsina, Lance Corporal Balogun Taiwo with Army Number 13/NA/ 69/0369 serving with 35 Battalion, Katsina and Private Evans Isibor with Army Number 15/NA/73/1529 serving with 342 Artillery Battalion, Owerri, Imo State.
The suspects were arrested four months ago by the police and handed over to the 4-Brigade headquarters of the Nigerian Army
on November 6, 2019 in Benin City for administrative action.
Crime Correspondent, Mr Festus Alenkhe reports that the suspects were expected to be returned back to the police for arraignment in court after necessary documentation is concluded by the military authorities, before they went missing.
The solidiers who were posted to the North East in Nigeria on special duties, went on awol and returned to Edo North where they engaged in series of kidnappings, armed robberies and other criminal activities.
Security report says that in one of their alleged deadly operations, the soldiers kidnapped one Mrs Catherine Izuagie and her daughter in August, 2019 in Fugar, Edo State where a ransom of N2 million was paid by their family to effect their release.
Besides, the soldiers were also alleged to have kidnapped one Alhaji Mohammed Husani in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State where he was kept in the forest for days before his release after ransom collection.
Similarly, the mission soldiers allegedly kidnapped one Mr.Otono Joseph in Fugar in October, 2019 where his Toyota Volton car was snatched from him at gun point.
One of the soldiers and the Civilian were arrested by the police on Benin-Ehor road when they were traveling to Lagos to sell the Toyota Voltron car.
The first two arrested suspects later led the police in the Anti kidnapping Squad in the arrest of other gang members.
But, the only Civilian suspect who was an accomplice to the crime (Kidnapping) who identified ås Goodluck Igbinebo, had been arraigned in Edo State High court and demanded to Oko Correctional facility in Benin City ahead of commencement of trial.
All efforts by the police authority to have them arraigned in court, according to police sources failed as the military could not produce them.
Already, the kidnapped victims who are now apprehensive of the new development appealed to the management of Army 4-Brigade headquarters to release the suspects to the police for prosecution.
The Army 4-Brigade Public Relations Officer, Major Ojo who spike to Crime Correspondent on telephone said that, the soldiers did not escape.
But, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Lawal Tanko Jimeta, said the police handed over the three soldiers to the Army and could not confirm their status as at the time of filing this report.
A dependable source close to the kidnapped victims has hinted that plans are on stage a peaceful protest to the Army headquarters in Benin and Abuja to demand for the release of the soldiers to the police for prosecution.