Five policemen, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. Nasiru Halidu, were on Monday killed by unknown gunmen in Okobe, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The policemen, who were heading to 30 PMF (Police Mobile Force) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State at the end of their special mission in Yobe were ambushed by hoodlums at about 3am.
It was gathered that the hoodlums took the policemen unaware and opened fire, killing all the five policemen, who were occupants of a police van.
The hoodlums were said to have left the scene immediately after their operation which didn’t last up to 10 minutes.
A stray bullet was also said to have hit a conductor attached to a tanker driver. Tanker drivers usually sleeps over in Okobe before continuing their journey to their destinations.
“One of my course mate, a DSP; his name is Nasiru Halidu, was among those ambushed and killed by the hoodlums. He was among the police officers and men, who went on a special duty in Yobe State.
“They were going back to Yenagoa after ending their special assignment. It was at Okobe in Ahoada West, along the East-West Road that the incident happened,” a police source lamented.
The incident was said to have caused pandemonium in the community as some indigenes of the area had begun to leave so as to avoid being arrested.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations, Mr. Ahmad Muhammad, said the hoodlum laid ambush for the policemen that were travelling back to Yenagoa.
Muhammad, who was almost in tears, explained that the attack occurred in the early hours of Monday, adding all that the policemen, who were in the vehicle died.
He dismissed claims in some quarters that the policemen were involved in a shootout with some members of a cult group, insisting that the policemen were not attached to the Rivers State Police Command.
“It is not true that they (policemen) were involved in a shoot-out with cult members. The truth is that they were coming from Yobe State after their special assignment and they were ambushed in Okobe, Ahoada West LGA.
“They (policemen) were from 30 PMF and were going back to their base in Yenagoa when the incident happened. It has nothing to do with any shootout.
“We are deeply pained by the senseless and barbaric killing of our colleagues attached to 30 PMF, Yenagoa, who were ambushed in the early hours of today at Okobe enroute Yenagoa.
“Today’s tragedy again demonstrated the enormous calamities we face and witness in the course of our job. We put our lives on the line every day to confront crime and violence in our communities.
“We will stop at nothing to bring the perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice,” Muhammad added.