From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Suspected kidnappers have reportedly shot the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Igarra Police Station in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, Suleiman Muhammed, along the Auchi-Igarra-Ibillo road.
The shooting incident, which occurred at about 7 pm on Tuesday a few metres before Sasaro village, was said to have led to commuters being stranded until the local vigilante group went to evacuate the seriously injured officer whose assailants were said to have thought he was dead before clearing the road.
A member of the vigilante group from Igarra who gave an account of the incident yesterday said the DPO was shot in the eyes, arm and stomach, disclosing that he may have been shot with AK 47 as they recovered bullets and other cartridges from the scene of the attack.
‘The DPO had earlier called us in the morning to a place where they said some suspected yahoo boys constituted a nuisance, then later around 3 pm, he told us that these suspected kidnappers were blocking the road, so we went there and chased them away.
‘I was told that later in the evening after inspecting the change of guard, the DPO proceeded in his Toyota Camry car to Auchi where his family resides. The people laid ambush after the MTN Mast near Sasaro and shot him severally, I believe they thought he was dead and then abandoned him.
‘Their gunshots made motorists going to Auchi and coming from Auchi stop until we arrived at the scene in the company of the police to rush the DPO to the hospital. He was bleeding profusely because he was shot in the eyes, arm and stomach; after stabilizing him, he was rushed to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
‘This morning (Wednesday) I and my boys went back to the scene and we recovered used bullets including those of AK-47 and cartridges,’ the vigilante member narrated.
Another leader of the vigilante attributed the rising presence of kidnappers in that axis to a community along that road that has been accused of renting part of its land to herdsmen for grazing.
Spokesman of the Edo State Police Command Bello Kontongs could not be reached yesterday as he was said to be on an official assignment outside the state but sources at the command said they are awaiting official details of the incident.