Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto

The police in Sokoto State is denying media reports suggesting that a kidnapped Syrian engineer has been found dead.

The expatriate was kidnapped Wednesday at his company’s quarry site near Lambar Mazaru village, and whisked away by suspected gunmen.

Speaking with journalists in Sokoto on Thursday, Police Public Relations Officer DSP Cordelia Nwawe said the police have marked out strategies to ensure that the kidnapped victim is free unharmed.

Nwawe also confirmed that the three policemen who were on route patrol of the area were killed during the incident.

She, however, denies that the deceased officers were assigned as escorts to the kidnapped expatriate, but insisted that they were only on routine patrol within the area when the incident occurred.

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“Gentlemen, it is good to set the record straight on the unfortunate development that happened yesterday. We want to say that the police is on the trail of the bandits to free the kidnapped victim,” the spokeswoman said.

“We also want to debunk the rumours going round that the kidnapped victim has been found dead. The information was not correct. The Commissioner of Police has deployed operatives of federal SARS to rescue the situation.

“The CP has also sent condolences to the families of the officers that lost their lives during the encounter. The three officers were of the ranks of Inspector, Sergeant and Corporal,” Nwawe explained.

The police spokeswoman urged the public to be vigilant in all their dealings and not hesitate to inform the police of any suspicious persons around them.

She pledged that the police would continue to uphold and discharge their mandates in securing lives and properties at all time, saying, “there is no crime-free society in the world, but the police will not relent in keeping Sokoto a criminal-free state.”