Gunmen Attack Black Maria in Court Premises, Free Six Suspected Criminals in Plateau

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By Seriki Adinoyi

Gunmen numbering about 20 on Thursday ambushed a Black Maria (vehicle conveying suspected criminals) billed to appear before a Plateau High Court in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, and freed six of the 10 suspects conveyed in the vehicle and injured four persons in the court premises.

The incident, which occurred at about 10am, witnessed sporadic gunshots and pandemonium at the court premises, a development that aided the escape of the inmates brought from the Jos Prison for trial.

A source at the court revealed that the inmates were brought with about four armed escorts of the correctional service, adding that the gate was immediately opened and as soon as they entered the court premises, the gate was locked.

“But in the process of un-handcuffing them, the attackers swooped on the vehicle and began to shoot and aided the escape of six, while the remaining four were apprehended by the troops of the Special Task Force, Sector 4 command and taken to Police Divisional Headquarters in Barkin-Ladi,” he explained.

The people within the court premises scampered to safety in the midst of the pandemonium, as many were injured in the confusion.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Gabriel Ubah, who confirmed the attack, said the state Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, has been to the scene of the incident, adding that three motorcycles left behind by the gunmen had been recovered while investigations have begun.

All of the suspects are facing trial for culpable homicide.