*As Four hospitalized
By Ovie Okpare & Onome Oghenetega
Four policemen attached to the Delta State Police Command have been hospitalized following life threatening injuries they allegedly sustained during attack by armed youths in Asaba, the state capital.
It was learnt that the hoodlums armed with cutlasses and other objects disposed the arms-wielding policemen who were mounting checkpoint at the popular Moziac Junction along the Asaba/Onitsha road of the state capital.
The incident occurred on Wednesday October 30, 2019 at about 9:20pm.
Residents of the area who confirmed the incident to NIGER DELTA TODAY on Thursday night posited that four service guns belonging to the police including two AK47 were reportedly carted away by the hoodlums numbering about 12.
It was gathered that one of the policemen was alleged to have died of injury sustained during the incident but a police source denied the death of one the policemen.
Sources in the area disclosed that the incident led to panic around the Mozaic area of Asaba as armed police operatives later raided the area arresting youths the sources claimed are innocent of the crime.
Speaking on the Asaba incident, one of the residents who witnessed the attack said, “The incident took place at Moziac Junction along the Asaba/Onitsha road. The incident happened on Wednesday October 30, 2019 at about 9pm.
“We don’t know how it happened but the hoodlums numbering eleven macheted some policemen with four sustaining life threatening injuries. The policemen were rushed to hospitals through the assistance of residents of the area.
“One of them was in coma at the time they were rushed to hospitals. We learnt that the officer died but you have to clarify from the police authorities.”
Armed hoodlums had in April this year also attacked a team of policemen who were on a stop-and-search duty in Asaba, carting away two service rifles in the encounter.
Another source who also confirmed the incident added that, “They (hoodlums) collected their arms and the policemen are in the hospital right now. One is said to be dead. They took two AK47 riffles and two pistles from them.
The crime rate in Asaba and other parts of the state has been witnessing increase in recent time with Elizabeth, younger sister to the wife of the Delta State Governor, Dame Edith Okowa, and a senior advocate of Nigeria, Mr Chike Onyemenam also being victims.
Similarly, about three weeks ago, armed cultists in the Udu area of the state also reportedly ambushed policemen and carted away two service riffles but were later recovered through the help of local politicians in the area.
Meanwhile, residents of the area have called on the authorities of the State Police Command to rejig the security apparatus in the state to tame the growing insecurity in the state.
They lamented that the spate of kidnapping and other forms of criminality deserved urgent attention.
When contacted, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, told one of our correspondents that he was on vacation and directed the reporter to contact the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Onome Onowakpoyeya for any enquiry.
“I’m on vacation. Call the PPRO for any information. I haven’t been around”, CP Adeleke stated.
But efforts to reach Onowakpoyeya, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), at the time of filing this report proved abortive on Friday.
Her line was also said to be switched off.
However, multiple police sources confirmed the development to our correspondent on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the press.
The sources claimed that the four policemen were receiving treatment at undisclosed hospitals in the state capital.
They further added that the command had launched a full-scale investigation into the attack so as to arrest the culprits.