A man identified to be policeman was reportedly shot dead on Monday in Ado Ekiti while chasing a gang of armed robbers that had terrorised a business outlet and fled the crime scene.
According to an eyewitness, the suspected armed robbers had earlier robbed a petrol station along Fajuyi-Secretariat road and were escaping through the old Iyin–Ilawe road when the police officer in a white Hilux van sighted them and gave them a hot chase.
They further said the police van had trailed the bandits up to NTA junction, where they were said to have waited and blocked the way in readiness for a gun duel.
“When the Hilux chased them up to that point, the armed robbers used their vehicle to block the way and rained bullets on the car,” the witness said.
“The bullets hit the driver of the vehicle and died on the spot after which the robbers entered their car and sped off.”
The sound of the assorted rifles brandished by the bandits were said to have caused confusion within that vicinity.
Workers coming to the Ekiti State House of Assembly and the State Secretariat and motorists going to Ilawe road were said to have scampered to safety to prevent being cut in the web of gunfire.
“Some of the motorists had to take a detour and escaped the scene , because the sound of the guns caused panic in the area,” he stated.
Police officers from the state police command later visited the scene to evacuate the corpse and deposited in the morgue of the Ekiti State University Teaching hospital.
When called for confirmation, the police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said: “The attack on the police officer could have been a reaction of criminal elements to the cleansing operation being carried out by the Command.
“You know that since our new Police Commissioner, Mr. Asuquo Amba, came on board, he introduced a Joint Task Force carrying out Operation Make Ekiti Safe, and many criminals had either been arrested or killed in the process.
“The men carrying out the operation were drawn from the Army, Police, Immigration and NSCDC . They were diligent in their duties and this might be one of those ways to frustrate us by criminals.
“We are assuring our people that we remain focused. We won’t be bogged down by this incident and we shall trail the perpetrators of this crime and make sure they face the full weight of the law.”