Four suspected bandits said to have engaged security details attached to former governor Godswill Akpabio’s residence at Ukana Ikot Ntuen in Essien Udim local government area of Akwa Ibom State have been killed, the commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, confirmed at the weekend.
The hoodlums, according to the CP, had on Tuesday, robbed petrol attendants and customers at Golf Safrin filling station close to the senator’s house, forcing security details of the senator to immediately respond.
Although the shootout temporarily disrupted a marathon political meeting at the senator’s house, Ogunjemilusi, explained that no one was hurt.
The hoodlums however, met their end after the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in-charge of Ikot Ekpene, Benjamin Achebani, acting on a tip-off, led a massive operation that resulted in the death of four of them and the capturing of the leader who was fatally wounded.
Displaying the remains of the criminals yesterday at the Ikot Akpanabia, Uyo, headquarters of the Police, Ogunjemilusi, said the criminals were engaged in exchange of fire with the police, around the banking area of Ikot Ekpene, after random shooting and stealing of shops along Aba Road.
“At about 5:00pm (Thursday), five notorious armed robbers led by one Kingsley Peter, a.k.a., ‘Morale’, who is one of the gang leaders, using three motorcycles robbed some persons along Aba Road by Ikot Osurua before proceeding to a banking area to disposes ATM customers and shop owners of cash.
“The DPO trailed and engaged the hoodlums in a fierce shootout, four of the armed robbers were shot dead, while one Akwaowo Daniel Umoren, was arrested with A-K 47 and 60 rounds of 7,62mm live ammunition,” he explained.
The arrested leader of the gang, Akwaowo, 27, who hails from Ikot Ineme village in Essien Udim local government, admitted being part of the operation.
He explained that the A-K 47 rifle he used in the operation was given to him by the village council, adding that his village has its vigilante group and armory because they are at war with the neighboring community.
“The gun was given to me and other boys to protect and secure the women and other villagers harvesting palm fruits at the disputed palm fruits plantation,” he added.
Speaking to Journalists, the DPO, who said he sustained injury in the operation, urged motorcyclists in Ikot Ekpene, to purge their ranks of criminal elements, warning that the ban placed on commercial motorcycle operations from 6:00pm would not be lifted.