Imo State Police command yesterday confirmed the death of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Fatmann Dooiyor, following an attack on Oru East Police Division, Omuma, in Oru East local government area of the state and the country home of Governor Hope Uzodimma.
Six of the gunmen died during a shootout with the police, with 11 others arrested.
Imo Police Commissioner made the disclosure in a statement signed by the command’s spokesman, Michael Abattam, yesterday.
According to Abatam, “Bandits in a convoy of three cars were sighted driving into Omuma town on Monday, July 26th. Immediately, the Area Commander, ACP Benjamin Abang alerted the tactical teams of the command who swung into action. “The Police ambushed and launched a surprise attack on the convoy of the bandits, which resulted in the neutralising of six of the bandits while 11 of them were arrested”.
“However, the DPO, Dooiyor, paid the supreme price as he was gunned down during the exchange of gunfire”, Abatam said.
He further said that the police had mobilised the command’s tactical teams to comb the communities in the area to arrest other ‘bandits’ who fled into the bush.
According to him, the gunmen were unsuccessful in their bid to burn down the Police Division, as they were eventually repelled by gallant policemen who rallied round, after they were initially taken unawares, to return fire.
The police, Abatam said, later recovered the three vehicles abandoned by the bandits which include two Toyota Highlander SUV vehicles with registration numbers Abia MBL 517 AT and LAGOS, JJJ 984 EL respectively and a milk-colour unregistered Lexus Jeep.
The statement noted that the command’s tactical teams and special forces led by ACP Evans E. Shem were combing the bush for possible arrest of the bandits that fled into the bush.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, CP Abutu Yaro, has warned bandits with a penchant for sporadic incursions from neighbouring states to keep off the state or face dire consequences.
However, a source in Omuma who pleaded anonymity said the gunmen invaded the Police Division in Uzodimma’s community, shot and killed the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, and the Division’s armourer.
According to him, the police later arrested 11 people who they intercepted while passing on the road.
Already, some people have raised an alarm over the people paraded by the police, even as they said some were innocent of the allegation.
The attack on the police station is the second in Omuma. The first was in protest of the arrest and gunning down of a commander of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Ikonso, by a combined force.
During the first attack, Governor Uzodimma’s country home was attacked, his cars vandalised and a security guard killed.