The police officers who were killed in an ambush in Kaduna state on Saturday were on the trail of the suspects who abducted Ahmad Adam, a prominent Islamic cleric, in Kaduna.
TheCable understands that Adam was abducted in the Rigasa area of the state 10 days ago.
His family members were said to have paid an undisclosed sum to his abductors as ransom after which he was released.
Acting on information, detectives of the inspector-general of police (IGP) intelligence rapid response team (IRT) stormed the forest on Saturday to arrest some persons suspected to be involved in the kidnap.
A police source told TheCable that the team had arrested two suspects and were on their way out when they ran into an ambush.
“Two of the suspects were arrested at a remote settlement inside Rigasa forest,” the source said.
“Kidnappers who had taken cover in different locations inside the bush opened fire on the officers on their way out.
“Four officers were killed in the process.”
The source said those who died in the operation were three inspectors and a sergeant.
He identified them as Benard Odibo, an inspector with service number AP/No. 148333; Mamman Abubakar, also an inspector with AP/No. 181539; Haruna Ibrahim, an inspector with number AP/No. 192938 and Emmanuel Istifanus, a sergeant with F/No. 267815.
The source said the bodies of the deceased were deposited at the mortuary of Saint Gerald Hospital, Kaduna.
Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna state police command, commended the deceased officers for “paying the supreme price”.
Sabo said efforts were in place to arrest their killers.
More than 14 policemen have been killed in active line of duty, this year alone.