Air Force officer foils robbery/kidnapping attempt by ‘one chance’ criminals in Abuja


In a remarkable display of bravery and quick thinking, Air Commodore John Ijudigal, a high-ranking officer in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), thwarted a robbery and kidnapping attempt in Abuja on February 14, 2024. The incident unfolded around 7:28 p.m. on Accra Road, Wuse Zone 5, as Air Commodore Ijudigal was returning home in his official vehicle after work.

Upon encountering a distressing scene, Air Commodore Ijudigal sprang into action. He noticed an Abuja-painted taxi, a Mazda 323 with registration BWR 232 XB, reversing at high speed with frightened passengers inside, desperately seeking help. In pursuit of the taxi was a black Toyota Land Cruiser.

Without hesitation, Air Commodore Ijudigal joined the chase, using his official vehicle to block the escape route of the criminals. The driver of the ‘one-chance’ taxi, in a state of panic, collided with Air Commodore Ijudigal’s vehicle, resulting in significant damage to both cars. The impact caused the ‘one-chance’ vehicle to veer off into a nearby garden.

Undeterred, Air Commodore Ijudigal swiftly exited his vehicle and pursued one of the suspects who had fled into a nearby bush. With the assistance of bystanders, he successfully apprehended the driver of the ‘one-chance’ vehicle, along with two other suspects (a male and a female). Additionally, two female victims were rescued from the ordeal.

Following the apprehension, Air Commodore Ijudigal promptly contacted the nearest police post and ensured the suspects were handed over to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, Mr. Benneth Igweh, for further investigation and legal proceedings.

The FCT Commissioner of Police commended Air Commodore Ijudigal for his bravery and decisive action, emphasizing that his intervention not only prevented a potential tragedy but also led to the apprehension of criminals who posed a threat to the safety and security of the citizens of Abuja.

In recognition of his heroic deeds, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, praised Air Commodore Ijudigal for his exemplary courage and dedication to public service. Air Commodore Ijudigal, a seasoned officer who previously served as the NAF Deputy Director of Sports and currently holds the position of Deputy Director of Logistics at the Defence Headquarters, has set a commendable example of selflessness and commitment to protecting the community.

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