NAF Officer Foils Kidnapping Attempt, Rescues Victims From ‘One-Chance’ Gang in Abuja


BY EDMOND ODOK – What would have been an unfortunate Valentine’s Day for some family members in Abuja was averted by a serving officer of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Commodore John Ijudigal, who successfully foiled a robbery and kidnapping attempt by suspected criminal gangs, popularly called ‘one-chance’, in the nation’s Capital Territory.

The incident, which occurred on 14th February 2024, at Accra Street in Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, led to the apprehension of three suspects and the eventual rescue of two kidnapped victims in the process.

A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet said; “The incident unfolded at about 7.28pm as Air Commodore Ijudigal was commuting home in his staff car after work, when he suddenly came across a distressing scene: An Abuja-painted taxi (Mazda 323, registration BWR 232 XB) reversing on high speed, with terrified passengers inside screaming for help.

“In pursuit of the taxi was a black Toyota Land Cruiser. Instinctively, Air Commodore Ijudigal immediately joined in the pursuit by using his official vehicle to block the escape route of the criminals.”

According to the NAF Spokesman; “The driver of the ‘one-chance’ vehicle, in a state of panic, then collided with Air Commodore Idjudigal’s official vehicle, resulting in significant damage to both cars. The impact caused the ‘one-chance’ vehicle to skid into a nearby garden. Following the collision, Air Commodore Ijudigal promptly exited his vehicle and chased after one of the occupants of the ‘one-chance’ taxi, who had fled into a nearby bush.

“With the assistance of onlookers gathered at the accident scene, the driver of the ‘one-chance’ vehicle, along with 2 other suspects (a male and a female), were apprehended, while 2 female victims were rescued.

“Subsequently, Air Commodore Ijudigal contacted a nearest police post and personally ensured the 3 criminals were handed over to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, Mr Benneth Igweh, at his office.”

Reacting to the incident, the FCT Commissioner of Police commended Air Commodore Ijudigal for his courage, highlighting that his intervention not only foiled a robbery and kidnapping attempt but also played crucial role in apprehending criminals who have constituted a security risk to law-abiding citizens of the FCT.

The Commissioner further praised the senior officer’s act as a demonstration of bravery and unwavering commitment to public service.

The Police boss further noted that “The swift and decisive measures taken no doubt averted a potential tragedy, reinstating confidence in the security forces.”

Meanwhile, the Chief of the Air Staff , Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has praised the senior officer for his bravery and act of selfless service.

Air Commodore Ijudigal is a former NAF Deputy Director of Sports and currently the Deputy Director of Logistics at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

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