The Police Command in Akwa Ibom said its officers had killed four of the five suspected armed robbers who robbed a fuel station in Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom on August 21.
The August 21 incident happened close to residence of a senator, Godswill Akpabio. An aide to Mr Akpabio, who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress from the Peoples Democratic Party, initially claimed the senator’s house was the target of the armed men. He said they were repelled by police security attached to the senator’s house.
The police later refuted the claim, telling PREMIUM TIMES it was a filling station about 200m from the former governor’s house that was attacked.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, disclosed the killings at a news conference in Uyo on Friday.
He said that the four suspects were gunned down in a gun battle with police while one of them was arrested after sustaining injuries due to gunshot.
Mr Ogunjemilusi said that the masked gunmen were killed during an operation in a bank at Ikot Ekpene after robbing ATM users and shop owners at gunpoint in a broad daylight.
“My men of Ikot Ekpene Division, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Benjamin Achegbani trailed and engaged the suspects in a fierce shootout.
“Four of the suspected armed robbers were shot dead while one was arrested with an AK47 with 60 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition.
“Items recovered from them include five locally made pistols, eight live cartridges, and two rounds of 5.5mm ammunition,“ he said.
The others he said are one AK47 magazine, three expended cartridges, two masks, six assorted phones, three motorcycles and N63, 000.“Our investigation revealed that the same suspected armed robbers were those responsible for the robbery at Gulfsafrin Filling station located at Ukana Ikot Ntuen close to the residence of Sen. Godswill Akpabio.”
He attributed the upsurge in robbery operations in Ikot Ekpene to infiltration of the commercial motorcyclist union by armed robbers who posed as commercial motorcyclists.
The police boss warned that the curfew imposed on motorcycles in the area would be sustained until the association fish out fake members among its members.
The police commissioner said that the command was poised to sustain its fight against crime and criminality in Akwa Ibom, adding that the command was also committed to the protection of lives and property.