Kidnapped son of former Nigerian PM freed

It is yet to be uncovered if the motive behind the kidnapping was political.

Abuja: The abducted son of Nigeria`s first prime minister was rescued on Sunday after police stormed the hideout of the abductors killing one of them.

Abuja Police Commissioner John Haruna said a gang of five-men were engaged in a gun duel with the police and were eventually overpowered.

"One of them was killed; another wounded and is currently receiving treatment even as two suspects escaped," he said, amending an earlier statement by a spokesman that three were caught.

Haruna said the kidnappers were traced to an Abuja suburb, Mpape, where they took the victim.

"A drill was put in place and a stop and search was put in all major highways and escape routes that are likely to be used. We searched virtually all abandoned buildings within and around. Certainly, these kidnappers were not acting solo. It was a well planned and well executed operation," he said, adding that the police are looking for more suspects.

The victim, Jhalil Tafawa Balewa, said he was kidnapped from his office and taken to a hilly countryside where he was left in the rain. He escaped by himself and was walking to freedom when he saw policemen swarming the entire place not knowing that they were looking for him.

A kidnap suspect, Adamu Adamu, a student of College of Education, Minna, said he was lured into the act by friends.

Jhalil`s father Tafawa Balewa ruled the oil rich African country from 1957 to until January 1966 when he was assassinated in the country`s first military coup.

Jhalil has not been in the limelight as he was engaged in medical practice and businesses until recently when he started campaigning for President Goodluck Jonathan who is yet to declare his intention to contest elections scheduled for January.

It is yet to be uncovered if the motive behind the kidnapping was political but sudden appearance of Jhalil may have jolted the northern political class who see Jonathan as coming to usurp their turn in a fragile power sharing agreement within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

PTI