The Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police Force on Tuesday confirmed the killing of four cops and burning of its Divisional Police Headquarters in Iwollo, Ezeagu Local Government Area of the state.
Our correspondent gathered that hoodlums had invaded the police station on Tuesday morning, killed four, injured some and set the police division and vehicles ablaze.
The gunmen were said to have also burnt the armoury, made away with weapons and released criminal suspects in the police cell.
A resident of Iwollo, who lives a stone throw to the police station, told The PUNCH on condition of anonymity that the bandits arrived at about 1 am and started shooting indiscriminately at different directions.
“It was around 1 am when I heard sounds of gunshots from different directions in our area. I live very close to the police station. They were shooting for more than two hours.
“When the shooting stopped, we went to the scene and discovered that four policemen were killed. One of them, Effiong, the Investigation Police Officer, a station officer, who was a friend to all, was killed. His name was Igwe, another person Sunny and one other policeman from Olo.
“Some policemen were injured and taken to hospital while some escaped unhurt.” The resident said.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, said a manhunt had been launched to track down the hoodlums.
Tension in Imo as gunmen burn another police station
Meanwhile, there was panic in Imo State on Tuesday as gunmen set ablaze Orji Divisional Police Headquarters situated along Owerri-Okigwe Road in Owerri.
As of the time of filing this report, security operatives made up of soldiers, policemen and men of the Air Force were engaging the hoodlums in gun duel.
Two banks situated close to the scene were said to have hurriedly shot down, ostensibly to protect their workers and customers.
Businessmen ran away and vehicles diverted as motorists scampered for safety after running out of their vehicles.
Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that on arrival, the gunmen numbering over 10 attacked the police station after blocking the expressway with their vehicles.
The hoodlums were said to have told nearby business people not to panic as they didn’t come for them.
It was not ascertained whether there was any casualty on the said of the security agents, but the police spokesperson in the state, Bala Elkana, told our correspondent that “we are repelling them. The war is ongoing.
Elkana said the state command had arrested five suspects in connection with the attack on Orji Divisional Police Headquarters.
He gave the names of the suspects as Chigaemezu Sebastine, 26; Casmir Ibe, 36; John Chinonso, 24; Chukwudi Okoro, 28; and Alozie Daberechi, 25.
Army, others, take over burnt Imo police station
In a related development, scores of military, police operatives and other security agents have taken over the premises of Orji Divisional Police Headquarters in Owerri, which was burnt on Tuesday afternoon.
A source close to the scene told our correspondent that the hoodlums abandoned a Highlander SUV and small vehicles they operated.
Woman, artisan killed, Imo residents flee as police, hoodlums engage in gunflight
However, a businesswoman was shot dead on Tuesday afternoon as gunmen and security operatives engaged in a gun duel in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
It was gathered that the woman in her 60s sold provisions at Hardel junction, Orji, near the scene of the incident, before she was hit by the flying bullet in her shop.
Her corpse was lying on the floor as people, including her relatives and neighbours, wailed.
A lady, who was recording the gun battle with her mobile phone, was also said to have been hit by a stray bullet on her leg, but did not die.
However, an artisan simply identified as Matthew from Ikeduru LGA of the state was said to have lost his life after being hit by a stray bullet during the gun battle between security operatives and the hoodlums.
The gunfight between the police and hoodlums forced residents to flee their shops, offices and homes.
Police deny attack on FCT station
In Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Command of the Nigeria Police Force on Tuesday said none of its stations in the nation’s capital was attacked.
A video had surfaced earlier in the day, claiming that one of the police stations in the FCT had been attacked and set ablaze.
But in a statement, the spokesperson for the command, Mariam Yusuf, said the command had no record of such incident.
Gunmen kill police, one other in Abia
But the situation was different in Abia State as a policeman attached to a Chinese was shot dead alongside the driver of the Chinese.
The incident was said to have occurred on Friday in Umuahia, the state capital.
An eyewitness, who spoke to our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, said the incident happened on Mission Hill Road at a spot where the office of the Nigeria Correctional Service is located.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident.