The Commissioner for Communication in Edo State, Mr Chris Nehikhare, yesterday said intelligence report has indicated that only 20 persons were kidnapped at the Igueben train station in Edo and not 32 persons as reported.
Nehikhare, who announced this yesterday in Benin, Edo State capital, while giving an update of the incident in a chat with newsmen, noted that seven of the abducted persons had been recused, recalling that the victims were waiting for a 4 p.m. train from Igueben station to Warri when the kidnappers abducted them on January 7.
“The kidnappers successfully kidnapped 20 persons at the Igueben train station and not 32 persons as previously said. Out of the 20 persons, seven have been rescued while 13 persons are still with the kidnappers.
“The operation is still ongoing, and we are confident that very soon, the ordeal of the innocent citizens will soon be over,” he said.
He further said the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Phillip Shaibu, had conversation with traditional rulers in the locality on the consequences of harbouring kidnappers.
He said: “If kidnappers are found residing or using any of the property in the community, such property would be forfeited to the state government and would be destroyed.
“Also, if at any point those that use the facility were found to have killed any of their captive, owner of such facility would be charged for murder and prosecuted along with the perpetrators of the crime,” he warned.
“The deputy governor also told the traditional rulers to increase surveillance in their areas to prevent crime,” he added.
He advised the media to work with the information from the government and not from other sources for the safety of the family of the victims.
The commissioner stated that Governor Godwin Obaseki had assured the families of the abducted train passengers of safety and rescue soon.