From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
PANDEMONIUM broke out on Thursday night at Agbogidi Motor Park, close to the Toll Gate along the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway in Asaba when a gang of three armed men suspected to be kidnappers were killed in fierce exchange of fire with the police.
People within the busy park scampered for safety as the sound of guns boomed as the hoodlums operating in a ash color Toyota Corolla fell to the superior fire power of the police.
The dead suspects who usually disguised as Christian evangelists by wearing apron with the inscription of a new generation, had laid ambush at a drinking joint in the park waiting to pounce on their target, United Kingdom (UK-based) native of Asaba who was coming home for the Christmas celebration.
A mole on the family of the UK-based Nigerian was said to have given out information about his relative to the gang, and the gang were patiently waiting at the drinking joint for signal from the mole on the appropriate time to act when the police confronted them.
But eyewitnesses said it was the hoodlums who first opened fire when they sighted the police, and that the operatives responded swiftly, adding that in the ensuing gun duel, the three suspected kidnappers fell to the superior fire power of the police.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim who paraded the dead suspects, said his men acted on credible information from members of the public to achieve the feat, noting that his men were currently on the trail of the mole.
He said the operational vehicle, a Toyota Corolla with registration number Delta SAP 818 AA, one AK 47 rifle, one pump action gun, one locally made pistol with 19 rounds of 7.6mm, eight live cartridges, one expended cartridge and the church aprons were recovered.
According to him, people at the motor park assisted the police during the operation, and called on the general public to always provide the command with credible information, assuring that the confidentiality of any informant will maintained.
“Today is a good day for the command and a very bad day for the bad guys. Only God knows what could have transpired if they were not caught. That is why we keep assuring the people that whenever they proffer credible information, it will be treated in confidentiality.
“Our partnership with the people is to nip crime in the bud and not to allow crime to happen and then you want us to investigate when you are not sure that investigation will lead us somewhere.
“We are in the trail of the mole in the family, he does not know that this has happened yet. And the target knows about it, he will fish him out but we don’t want to expose the target yet until we are done,” he added.