Tony Osauzo, Benin
About four persons have been feared killed following a riot that broke out over the killing of one Federick, popularly known as Original in Azagba community in Uhumwode Local Government Area of Edo State.
Details of what led to the deaths could not be ascertained but witnesses said they were shot by security operatives dispatched to quell the riot.
Sources said Federick was shot at a close range after an argument with a policeman whose identity was yet to be ascertained.
Residents of Azagba community, tipper drivers and some youths were said to have blocked the Benin-Auchi highway protesting the killing of Federick.
It was learnt that during the protest that lasted for over four hours, the protesters set bonfires and destroyed several vehicles that attempted to drive through the barricade, until armed policemen and soldiers dispersed them.
A van conveying inmates from Correctional Centres to court was attacked and the inmates released.
Officials of the Correctional Centre were allegedly beaten and their rifle snatched.
Sources said Federick was shot at a close range after an argument with the policeman whose identity was yet to be ascertained.
It was gathered that the protest began after news filtered in that Federick had died.
One of the prison officials who managed to run into the bush with wounds was rescued by some residents and taken to a private hospital.
A spokesman for the Nigeria Correctional Service, Aminu Suleiman, who confirmed the attack said details of the incident were still sketchy.
Suleiman said the officials were going for official duty when they were attacked.
A source in the area said the warden was found inside the bush with a deep injury in his hand and bleeding seriously.
Edo State police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the policeman that fired the shot was an Inspector attached to the Department of Operations in Delta State police command.
DSP Nwabuzor said the inspector was on an escort duty while being attached to a construction firm.
Nwabuzor said they had a misunderstanding with a landlord who was later shot but died while being rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
He said: “That was what led to the riot and all the criminal activities. A rifle of the Correctional Service officers was snatched. Investigation is on and we will make the public aware of our findings.
On the report of the killing of four persons, Nwabuzor said the police did not shoot or carry out an arrest of innocent persons.