By Ibrahim Oyewale
No fewer than two passengers were killed, while a police officer was shot at a nearby roadblock by suspected armed robbers on Okene -Lokoja highway in Kogi State at the weekend.
The incident, which occurred at about 6p.m. at Osara last Saturday led to most of the drivers abandoning their vehicles and running away while the passengers were left stranded on the road.
Sources hinted further that the two victims, who lost their lives, were said to be siblings from Okene residing in Katsina State. They were home on a visit and were on their way back to their base.
One of the passengers said she arrived at her Lokoja residence in the early hours of yesterday.
The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she boarded a vehicle from Lagos, where she had been since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, adding that they encountered heavy vehicular traffic between Berger, in Lagos, and Ibadan in Oyo State.
She noted that their situation was further compounded when after the attack, the vehicle in which they were travelling on developed mechanical fault.
According to her, “We boarded our vehicle from Lagos around 7a.m., but experienced heavy traffic till we got to Ibadan in Oyo State.
“We got to Osara after 6p.m. Our driver stopped for a passenger to urinate, that was when we saw oncoming vehicles flagging us to stop that there was an robbery attack ahead. People ran helter-skelter, but the residents in the area would not allow us to take refuge in their houses. They said if they did, the robbers will search of us one by one.
“After quite a while, other vehicles continued on their journey, but ours would not start. The driver made contacts and a motor mechanic came over from the Kabba Junction to attend to it.
“When we got to the scene of the attack, we heard that two brothers were shot and killed, while a policeman at the nearby checkpoint was shot on the leg. We heard that their remains were later evacuated and deposited at the state Specialist Hospital in Lokoja.”
When contacted to confirm the incident, the Kogi State Police Command was not responding, as the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), who promised to respond to a message sent to him, could not be reached as at the time of filing this report.