• Gunmen murder ASP, two others
From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi and George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
It was a tragic weekend for the police in Imo and Benue State commands. They lost an Assistant Superintendent and two others when criminals stormed their stations.
In Imo State, some gunmen suspected to be armed robbers stormed Mbieri police divisional headquarters in Mbaitoli LGA, killed one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who had finished for the day. The criminals invaded the station in a bid to free some of their detained colleagues. They fled after a shoot-out.
In the case of Benue State, gunmen stormed Ado divisional police station, broke into its armoury and stole arms and ammunition. They killed two of the four policemen on duty.
The dare-devil armed robbers had stormed the Mbieri station in Mbaitoli council area late Friday evening and shot dead an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
A source at the station who does not want his name in print, said the invasion by heavily armed men had caused pandemonium among the officers and men who were caught napping as they scampered for safety.
He said the deceased officer, who was on duty was not lucky as he was shot and killed instantly by the armed men who fled after killing him.
Another source, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the invasion was part of the desperate bid by the suspected armed bandits to free some of their members detained at the station, but only succeeded in killing the ASP.
Confirming the tragedy, the state police spokesman, Mr. Andrew Enwerem (DSP), however, said the deceased officer whose name he is yet to confirm, had already closed for the day and was about going home when he was attacked.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, had already ordered an investigation.
In Benue State, two policemen were killed in Ado station. The gunmen stormed the station yesterday and wasted no time in raining bullets on all the four policemen on duty.
Sources said sounds of gunshots sent fears into the hearts of residents of the community, who all scampered for safety while the operation lasted.
“We were surprised to hear the sounds of gunshots around the police station. Initially, we thought that the police were engaging some armed robbers in a gun duel, but after the shooting died down, we were shocked to discover that the police station had been attacked by some gunmen,” a resident said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Moses Yamu, who confirmed the attack, said two of the four policemen had died as a result of injuries sustained from the gunshots. “One of our men died on the way and his remains were deposited at the Otupko General Hospital while another one died at the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi a while ago. The two others who were injured are on admission and undergoing treatment.”
Yamu, who disclosed that the Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, had led policemen to Ado for an on-the-spot assessment of the attack.
He also confirmed the theft of weapons by the criminals and said investigation had already commenced.