Four Persons Feared Killed in Edo Riot

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

Four persons have been reportedly killed following a riot that broke out over the killing of one Federick popularly known as Original, in Azagba community along Benin-Auchi highway in Edo State.

THISDAY could not confirm what killed Federick but eye witnesses said they were shot by security operatives dispatched to quell the riot.

Consequently, residents of Azagba community, tipper drivers and some youths had blocked the Benin-Auchi highway protesting the killing of Federick by setting bonfires and destroying several vehicles that attempted to drive through the barricade.

During the staged protest, which lasted for over four hours before armed policemen and soldiers dispersed them, a van conveying inmates from Nigeria Correction Service (NCS) in the state to courts, was attacked and the inmates released.

In addition, officials of the Nigeria Correctional Service were beaten and their rifle snatched.

Sources said Federick was shot at a close range during an argument with a policeman whose identity was yet to be ascertained.

It was gathered that the protest began after news filtered in that Federick has died.

One of the officials who managed to run into the bush with wounds was rescued by some residents and taken to a private hospital.

Spokesman of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Mr. Aminu Suleiman, who confirmed the attack, said details of the attack were still sketchy.

He said their personnel were going for official duty when they were attacked.

A source in the area said the warder was found inside the bush with a deep cut in his hand and bleeding seriously.

Edo State Police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the policeman that fired the shot was an Inspector attached to the Department of Operations in Delta State Police Command.

DSP Nwabuzor said the Inspector was on an escort duty and attached to a construction firm.

Nwabuzor said they had a misunderstanding with a landlord who was later shot and died while being rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

According to him, “That was what led to the riot and all the criminal activities. A rifle of the Correctional Service Officers was snatched. Investigation is ongoing and we will make the public aware of our findings.

On the reports of killing of four persons, Nwabuzor said the police did not shoot or carry out arrest of innocent persons as alleged.