The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for Abraka in Delta State, CSP Steve Chigbufue, and four other policemen were killed yesterday by suspected armed robbers at Igbodo in Ika North local government area of the state.
The police, however, shot dead five members of the gang in a counter-attack. Mr Charles Muka, the police public relations officer in the state, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba that the policemen were killed while on their way to the state Police Command for a meeting.
He said the deceased ran into the suspects who were on a robbery operation at Igbodo and were killed on the spot by the gang.
The police spokesman said the gang had earlier attacked a commercial bank located at Ibusa market in Oshinili North LGA.
Muka said that the police had to send for reinforcement from Asaba before succeeding in killing five of the suspected armed robbers in a shootout.
Sources said the robbery gang started their operation in the early hours. They robbed several motorists and disappeared only to resurface at about 2pm during which the DPO ran into them.
They were said to have opened fire on him on sighting his uniform. He died on the spot while his team mobilised and, in a shootout five of them (robbery suspects) were killed while others received degrees of injury.
The police spokesman disclosed that the police’s efforts in combating crimes have paid off in recent times with no fewer than 40 robbery suspects arrested while 20 others were killed during police routine patrol.
LEADERSHIP investigations revealed that scores of dead bodies littered the expressway before they were removed. Residents bemoaned criminal activities along the expressway in recent times.
Some of the residents who spoke to our correspondent, however, called on the security agents to re-double their efforts with a view to curbing incessant robbery activities usually along the expressway.
There have been longstanding cases of robbery attacks on traders/travellers along the Benin – Asaba expressway almost on daily basis.