Police in Cross River have rescued a 28-year-old taxi driver, Mr Joseph David from his abductors.
David was rescued on Saturday at Esuk Mba in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River.
Police spokesperson in the state, SP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the rescue on Sunday and stated that David’s vehicle was also recovered during the operation.
She stated that the rescue operation was carried out inside a forest at Esuk Mba by the Anti-Cultism and Anti-Kidnap Squad, a police tactical unit in collaboration with Army’s “Operation Akpakwu’’.
She explained that the operation was carried out following a distress call.
Irene stated that the kidnappers abandoned David when they discovered that a search-and-rescue team was closing in on them.
David told newsmen that he was hired to take a passenger to Esuk Mba to take palm oil at a mill, but unknown to him, it was a setup.
“On our way to Esuk Mba to carry the palm oil, the man who hired me suddenly asked me to stop at a spot.
“All of a sudden, two young men came out of a nearby bush with guns and marched me into a speed boat and took me into the creeks.
“They left the person who hired me from Calabar with my vehicle but the car wouldn’t start.
“In the process, some youths from the area suspected something was wrong and accosted the man that hired me, but he fled after which the youths alerted the police.
“I believe he gave his accomplices a tip-off because they were receiving calls and they beat me up badly with cutlass.
“They dropped me off at Anantigha before the anti-kidnap and `Operation Akpakwu’ operatives came to my rescue,’’ he said.
David added that he could identify the assailants anytime they were arrested.
Similarly, a carpenter identified as Otobong, has also regained freedom from his abductors after five days in captivity.
Otobong said he was left off the hook after he parted with the N37,000 found on him by his abductors who had tricked him under the guise of giving him a job.
“They called me with a number not registered on my phone and asked me to meet them at WAPI Junction in Calabar that they had a job for me.
“Before leaving, I called my wife to inform her; unfortunately her phone line didn’t connect, so I had to inform my daughter about my movement instead.
“On my way, I received another call from the same person that I should stop at Stadium that they would pick me up from there which they did.
“They were three in the car, a Toyota Camry. Since I didn’t suspect any foul play, I joined them.
“It was while they were driving me to their destination on the highway that I lost consciousness.
“They kept me in a room for five days blindfolded and without food. Even the N37,000 I had with me to buy materials for another customer was collected.
“When they checked my account balance they knew I was a wrong target, because I didn’t have a kobo in it. They questioned me if I had money and I told them that I am just a poor carpenter,’’ he said.