…Kill security men
From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Two staff of a private security outfit, attached to the Rivers State Judiciary Complex, Port Harcourt, were, on Monday, assassinated while another is lying critically ill in a hospital following an attack by gunmen.
One of the deceased, identified as Obinna was from Asa, in Abia State.
The incident occurred when the ongoing trial of late militant leader, Soboma George’s case was to come up at the State High Court, Port Harcourt.
The court was shutdown following the incident and security men deployed to the area, while investigations were ongoing
Also, three persons were on Monday night, shot dead in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of the state by gunmen.
It was gathered that the victims were in a restaurant, when the armed men, who came on motorbike opened fire on them.
A source said one of the victims was a political associate of Senator Magnus Abe, while the other was simply identified as Charles.
Daily Sun gathered that the victims were asleep when the bandits attacked them, at about 2.30am.
Investigations revealed that the assailants came in through one of the back gates to the state judiciary complex and attacked the victims.
The Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the state Judiciary, Mr. Dabotubo George, who briefed journalists on the incident, said the victims were not shot with guns, adding that the suspects used “axe, machete and stick” to kill them.
He said: “This place has been very peaceful all these years. It is just unfortunate it happened. We had tight security; 10 of them were on duty that night. There was no gunshot; the people used machetes, and sticks to attack them. The men did not come in through the fence; they came in through the gate”.
Speaking further, the CSO complained that there was no police presence in the complex there, alleging that policemen stopped patrol since April 22.
But, in a swift reaction to the CSO’s allegation, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the State, Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), condemned the attack. He explained that what Police have was Judges’ Protection Unit (JPU), and not Court Protection Unit (CPU).
Muhammad added that investigation had commenced to track down the perpetrators of the dastardly act while also confirming that the gang did not kill the victims with guns.
He stated: “I can categorically dispel the insinuation that there was shooting in the court premises. There was nothing like that. The victims were attacked with hard objects on the upper parts of their bodies.” He could not confirm the incident in Bori.
Also, the Prosecution Counsel of the Soboma George’s case, Barr. Ipalibo Karibi-Botoye, has countered the rumour making the rounds that the attack was due to the ongoing murder case.
In an interview with the reporter, Karibi-Botoye said he was amazed when he heard people linking the case to the killing of the deceased.
He urged members of the public to discountenance the insinuation and allow security men to carry out their investigation.
Meanwhile, hoodlums were said to have shot sporadically at the Abuja Estate/ Creek Road axis of the Port Harcourt Prisons at about 10.30 pm on Monday night. At the time of filing report, the Prisons officials were yet to comment on the shooting around the area.