Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Some police officers attached to an outpost in Eku, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, are facing interrogation by authorities of the State Police Command following the invasion of the outpost by a gang hoodlums suspected to be cultists last week.
Public Relations Officer of the Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, who confirmed the development, did not however state the number of officers facing questioning.
Aniamaka said no property was destroyed, and insisted that it was the responsibility of the detained officers to always defend the outpost against external invasion.
“It was an outpost, and not a station, and some persons have been arrested. Among them are police officers attached to the outpost.
“No police officer was injured and property, to my knowledge, was destroyed during the attack. Some officers are being questioned as to why they would allow hoodlums into the station. The onus is on them to defend the station all the times,” the spokesman stated.
The attackers, said to be more than 100, stormed the outpost in a daring attempt to free some members of the gang earlier detained on cult related activities.
Wielding cutlasses and other dangerous weapons, the hoodlums were said to had earlier gone on a rampage, destroying property and dispossessing innocent residents of their phones, neck chains, cash and other valuables.
They are also said to have blocked the entrance of Baptist Government Hospital, Eku, to prevent medical officials from giving medical attention to casualties while the attack on the police outpost and community lasted.
It was gathered that the cultists, dressed in black, stormed the outpost around 9:30 p.m. after causing havoc in the town.
An eyewitness reported that “at about 9.30 p.m., young man in polo t-shirt and jeans trousers drove his car into a disorderly group of people around a bar belonging to female twin sisters, almost knocking some persons to the ground.
“This development did not augur well with some of the persons almost hit, which eventually led to confrontation. Three men were inside the car. So, they came down from the car and an altercation ensued between both parties, leading to a brawl with the use of bottles and other weapons.
“At about 11.30 p.m., over 100 persons, mainly youths between the ages of 12 to 22 years, armed with cutlasses, battle axes and items believed to be guns, took to the streets of Eku, robbing and attacking anybody on sight.
“Scores of persons lost their valuables to this criminal gang, while many sustained various degrees of injuries,” the witness said.
“I was with my small baby,” said another woman, “when I noticed the crowd, I entered the dark, they moved past me and intercepted a young man and his girlfriend, they collected their phones and money, the man pleaded with them not to kill him, but one of the thugs still used an axe to cut his left hand.
“At the middle of the town, it was a gun shootout all through the night. No one can ascertain if anybody was killed,” she said.