By Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Suspected gunmen in police uniform have attacked the Queen Mother of Ughelli Kingdom in Delta State, injuring the police orderly attached to the palace.
Local sources say the Queen Mother and her driver narrowly escaped death during an ensuing exchange of fire between the hoodlums and the police orderly.
The sources claimed that the incident which happened on Monday evening was failed attempt to kidnap the Queen Mother by the unknown gunmen.
But the public relations officer of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said the incident was not a kidnap attempt, but a random armed robbery that was foiled.
Onovwakpoyeya, who confirmed the incident in Asaba, said the hoodlums did not succeed irrespective of their intentions.
The gunmen had laid an ambush in front of the palace along Isoko Road, where they stopped the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) conveying the Queen Mother.
The Queen Mother and her driver were returning from a branch of a new generation bank along Isoko Road when the gunmen accosted them.
‘The gunmen, who were dressed in police camouflage cardigan, double-crossed the car conveying the queen and ordered the driver to open the door and come down.
‘While the driver was questioning the gunmen thinking they were policemen, a police inspector on guard at the palace came to the scene of the incident.
‘Upon sighting the policeman, they opened fire on him and shot him on the hand. It was during the melee that ensued that the queen also ran into the palace for safety while the hoodlums fled the scene,’ a source said.