A police corporal, Torbee Atorough, attached to the Ibafo Police Division, Ogun State, has been abducted by some suspected militants at a duty post in the community.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the gunmen, operating around the creeks in the neighbourhood, were passing through the checkpoint around 8.30pm when Torbee and three other cops flagged down their vehicle, but the driver zoomed off.
The indigene of Guma in Benue State and father of five was said to have given them a chase with a motorcycle, but did not return.
Efforts by his colleagues – who reportedly trailed the gunmen with their van – to locate him proved abortive.
It was gathered that the vehicle had been snatched from a resident of the community a few minutes earlier.
Following Torbee’s disappearance, men of the division were said to have traced the owner and arrested him with the car the following day.
Three other suspects were also arrested in connection with the incident and one of them reportedly confessed that the corporal was with his accomplices, who were at large.
Our correspondent learnt that the three policemen on duty with Torbee had also been detained at the state police command.
The abductee’s younger brother, Wilson Atorough, said he travelled down to Ogun State from Benue after he was alerted to the incident by their kinsmen in Ibafo, adding that Torbee had earlier informed the family that he was suspicious of some of his colleagues in the station.
He said, “On May 13, I received a call from one of our people in Ibafo that my brother had been missing since May 11, while he was on duty with his colleagues. I came to the station and was told that the case had been transferred to the command’s headquarters in Abeokuta. On getting there, I learnt that the owner of the vehicle and three other suspects were in detention. The car owner said he had called the police station that evening to report that the vehicle was stolen at gunpoint, but he did not get any response.
“He claimed that he later recovered the vehicle where it was parked. One of the three other suspected militants confessed in my presence that he was among those who abducted my brother. He said he was shot and taken away by other militants. I was taken to a Deputy Commissioner of Police and after I explained to him that my brother had earlier told us that his colleagues were after his life, he ordered that the three policemen should be arrested.”
Wilson’s wife, Mrs. Dorcas Atorough, said he suspected the cops were complicit in the incident and called on the police authorities to properly investigate the matter.
She said, “Why did his colleagues on duty allow my husband to chase the gunmen alone when there was a patrol van that all of them could use? Why didn’t the Divisional Police Officer contact the family immediately the incident happened? The Inspector-General of Police and the Police Service Commission should prevail on the Ogun State Commissioner of Police to expedite action towards releasing my husband.”
One of Torbee’s kinsmen in Ibafo, who did not want his name in print, told our correspondent on the telephone that he and other Tiv natives in the area, became worried when they did not see the victim for two days.
“We met with the DPO and he said he had been trying to reach out to his family. Our chairman called his brother. The matter is a little complicated and should be properly investigated,” he added.
The Ogun State Police Command spokesperson, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, did not pick calls made to his line and had yet to respond to a text message sent to him.