In the Ajah district of Lagos State, masked gunmen kidnapped Air Vice Marshal Sikiru Smith (retd.). Smith is a relative of Musiliu Smith, the current Chairman of the Police Service Commission and former Inspector-General of Police.
On Monday, the retired general, who is the Chairman of Double Wealth Ventures Limited, a dredging and engineering firm, was supervising work on a site in the Ajah region of Lagos State when masked gunmen stormed the location and opened fire. The shooters are believed to have rushed away with the retired general in a waiting speedboat. Corporal Odiji’s driver exchanged an SOS voice note with him.
Before being overpowered, the retired AVM engaged in a struggle with the gunmen.
“This is an emergency,” Odiji said. I’m Corporal Odiji, and I’m under the command of Air Vice Marshal Smith. They simply kidnapped him from the jobsite where we were working. My boss has just been kidnapped by some gunmen wearing masks. They were shooting in all directions. I was nearby to where I was working on my boss’s car. I noticed them leave in a boat as I approached, but I wasn’t armed, so I just ran to the location, where I saw his spectacles and where he wrestled with them. Please forward this information to others. It’s a critical situation.”
When contacted on the telephone, the Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Adekunle Ajisebutu, promised to make inquiries and give a detailed response in due course.
The Spokesman for the Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, also promised to make inquiries and provide information on the matter later.
AVM Smith was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force as a Pilot Officer in 1979 and had a highly successful military officer that combined soldering with serious academic pursuit.
He holds BSc, MSc, MBA and PhD degrees. He is an Alumnus of Harvard University and fellow of many professional bodies including the Institute of Management, Nigeria.
Smith attended several military courses both locally and overseas which include flying and engineering. He was awarded numerous military decorations such as Distinguished Service Star, Pass Staff College (Dagger) and Fellow of the prestigious National Defence College.
The notable appointments he held include Commanding Officer Air Engineering Wing, Sierra Leone/Liberia; Commander, Nigerian Air Force Station, Calabar; Deputy Director, Air Engineering, Nigeria Air Force Headquarters, Abuja, Commander 333 Logistics Group, Kaduna, Commander, 401 Aircraft Maintenance Depot, Ikeja; Chief of Logistics, Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, Abuja and Chief of Defence Communications, Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
Smith had advocated for the use of drones in security surveillance and military offensives in the country to curb the use of military jets.