The proprietor of Mount Gilead Hospital, Benin City, Caleb Igbinehin yesterday cheated a five-man gang of kidnappers, as he was miraculously rescued just 30 minutes after he was kidnapped in the city.
The consultant family physician, who operates one of the leading private hospitals in Edo State, explained that he was at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Odiase Street, off Benin Technical School Road, at about 9am, where he served as the chairman of the first service, a Public Talk, when the drama started.
Mr Igbinehin said that after the opening song and prayer, he introduced the speaker and stepped down from the podium, only for him to be accosted by an armed man waving with a rifle, who asked him to move out of the prayer hall.
“Knowing what was happening, I maintained my composure and simply complied with this abductor’s order. He then handed me to another man armed with a pistol, who then commanded me to climb a waiting motorcycle outside the Kingdom Hall,” Mr Igbinehin said.
The doctor said that his captors then sandwiched him between two of their members, while the other three rode on another motorcycle and sped off through Ubgowo-Lagos Road to Oluku, where they diverted to Benin-Akure road.
“The moment we came out to the major road, I was surprised to see some people shouting, ‘look at them, look at them.’ But the men zoomed off with me,” he said.
However, luck was on his side, as the kidnappers were pursued and the medical practitioner rescued at Oluku.
Isaac Opuama, the driver of the doctor, who facilitated the rescue of his boss, told the rest of the story:
“I was with my director in the Kingdom Hall when they were taking him away. I jumped into my KIA jeep and drove after them. I went through the major road and caught up with the other three kidnappers on the same motorcycle at Ugbowo-Lagos Road by Iguomorhe. I then hit them several times with the jeep from behind. They then fell into a ditch. One of the kidnappers was caught with two guns by some men who were nearby, while the other two escaped.
“I then ran after the other gang member, who carried my director. I met up with them at Oluku. To ensure that my director is not injured, I brushed the motorcycle by the side, after which they stopped and asked my director to disembark and ran away and I brought my director back to the town.” When NEXT visited the hospital, all the workers were in a celebratory mood, drinking, and dancing. The ecstatic doctor could not hide his joy, as he was full of praises, thanking God for his miraculous rescue from his abductors.
He also called on security agencies and the media to help bring an end to the cases of kidnapping in the state.
Mr Igbinehin declined to have his picture taken, citing security reasons.
The acting police spokesman, Awhara Ejiroro, said he has not been officially briefed. But as at the time of filing this report, the arrested kidnapper was in police custody at the BDPA Estate Police Station.