All nine officers of the Nigeria Police who went missing in Katsina State have been rescued.
Mr Frank Mba, who is the Force Public Relations Officer, confirmed the rescue of the security operative – all Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) – in a statement on Friday, almost two weeks after the incident occurred.
“Two of the officers are currently receiving medical attention in a hospital, while the remaining seven are being debriefed,” he said.
The police officers had gone missing on November 8 between Kankara town and Sheme in Katsina after a night commercial bus they were travelling in came under attack by heavily armed men who were dressed in military camouflage, but suspected to be bandits.
They were on their way to Gusau, the Zamfara State capital from Maiduguri in Borno State at the time of the incident.
“Covert operation to locate and rescue the officers commenced immediately they were discovered missing en-route to their destination.
“Thus, the apparent delay in commenting on the unfortunate incident was a deliberate decision aimed at protecting the integrity and confidentiality of the rescue operation and the concomitant safety of the officers,” Mba said.
He added that preliminary investigation has shown that the attack on the vehicle was an opportunistic crime, noting that the officers were all traveling along with other private citizens in the commercial vehicle, in mufti and unarmed.
The police spokesman stressed that nine officers were involved in the incident and not 12 as reported.
He stated that a follow-up investigation into the incident was ongoing, adding that the police would ensure improved safety and tactical presence of personnel on highways across the nation before, during, and after the festive period.