JTF Kills 4 Gunmen as SSS Official Dies in Enugu
Nigerian Police IG, Muhammmed Dikko ABUBAKAR
By Ibrahim Shuaibu and Christopher Isiguzo
Four suspected gunmen were Sunday killed at Ring Road, Hotoron Gabas, Kano State by members of the Joint military Task Force (JTF) in an operation launched in one of the suspected house of the gunmen.
The killing of the suspected gunmen by JTF however came on a day an official of the State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Petrus Onwu, was killed by bullets allegedly fired by policemen at fleeing hoodlums terrorising the Asata area of Enugu metropolis in Enugu State mistakenly hit him while driving along the road.
An eye witness in Kano confirmed that the shootout started around 9a.m. and lasted for over two hours before the suspects were overpowered by members of the JTF. The suspects engaged by members of JTF in a shootout, were eventually killed after a prolonged exchange of gunshots between members of the JTF and the suspects.
Residents of the area were thrown into panic as they ran helter-skelter in search of safety following heavy explosions and gunshots.
Spokesman of the Joint military Task Force (JTF), Lieutenant Ikedichi Iweha confirmed the operation and the killing, saying a number of arrests were also made during the operation.
Iweha also declined further comment on the actual arrest so far made but said the operation was successful and would continue until miscreants were finally flushed out from the area.
He therefore solicited the cooperation of the general public in the effort to bring back peace in the state. The area was seriously condoned off by the security agencies and no movement of vehicles or passerby was being allowed as the joint task force operatives were seriously searching the area to arrest the suspected gunmen in the area.
It was also observed that the commercial activities in the area was shut down due to the heavy presence of the security operatives deployed in the area, while the resident of the area remained indoors.
Meanwhile, another meat seller, one Philomena Udealor, who was also hit by the Police bullets was said to be recuperating at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUT), as at the time of filing this report.
Reports said Onwu, who was attached to the branch of the SSS in Enugu, had met his untimely death along the Ogui road, while driving with his wife in a Mercedes Benz car with registration number BS 138 KJA.
A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Ebere Amaraizu, which confirmed the incident, said the SSS personnel was hit by a bullet while driving on the road and was confirmed dead by doctors at the Annunciation hospital, Emene where he was rushed to.
The PPRO however said the state command had commenced full scale investigation into the incident, noting that the police patrol team which fired the bullets was in pursuit of cultists, who later robbed certain residents at gun point at the Artisan market area of the state.
“On Sunday, men suspected to be cult men springing up probably from a revenge mission from the Matured Students Programme (MSP) of the Enugu state University of Science and Technology (ESUT) allegedly struck twice on different locations with a motorcycle wounding one Philomena Udealor a sales girl with one meat shop located at Atisan market, dispossessing her of all the daily proceeds made.
He stated that the hoodlums on citing the police patrol team, started shooting sporadically, leading to the hitting on the head of the Onwu.
Amaraizu said the Police Commissioner in the state, Musa Daura, had expressed displeasure over the incident and had directed Divisional Police Officers in the state to ensure that no commercial motorcycle operator plied the routes designated by the state government as no go areas.