A man identified to be policeman was on Monday shot dead in Ado Ekiti while chasing a gang of robbers that had terrorised a business premises and fled the scene.
The bandits, according to eyewitness, had earlier robbed a petrol station along Fajuyi – Secretariat road and were escaping through the old Iyin–Ilawe road when the police officer in a white Hilux van sighted them and gave them a hot chase.
The source said the police van had trailed the bandits up to NTA junction, where the bandits were said to have waited and blocked the way in readiness for a gun duel.
“When the Hilux chased them up to that point, the armed robbers used their vehicle to block the way and rained bullets on the car.
“The bullets hit the driver of the vehicle and he died on the spot after which the robbers entered their car and sped off”.
The sound of the assorted rifles brandished by the bandits were said to have caused confusion within the vicinity.
Workers coming to the Ekiti State House of Assembly and the State Secretariat as well as motorists going to Ilawe road were said to have scampered for safety to prevent being caught in the web of gunfire.
“Some of the motorists had to take a detour and escaped the scene because the sound of the guns caused panic in the area,” he stated.
Police officers from the state police command later visited the scene to evacuate the corpse which was deposited in the morgue of the Ekiti State University Teaching hospital.
When contacted for confirmation, the police public relations officer, Ekiti State Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said: “The attack on the police officer could have been a reaction of criminal elements to the cleansing operation being carried out by the command.
“You know that since our new Police Commissioner, Mr. Asuquo Amba came on board, he introduced a Joint Task Force carrying out Operation Make Ekiti Safe and many criminals had either been arrested or killed in the process.
“The men carrying out the operation were drawn from the Army, Police, Immigration and NSCDC . They were diligent in their duties and this might be one of those ways to frustrate us by criminals.
“We are assuring our people that we remain focused. We won’t be bored down by this incident and we shall trail the perpetrators of this crime and make sure they face the full weight of the law.”
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