Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
It was a rain of bullets in Benin City, capital of Edo State as suspected armed Robbers reportedly fell a soldier and made away with sack of money.
The incident, it was gathered occurred on Wednesday afternoon as gunmen allegedly attacked army patrol van, killing a soldier and carted away sack bag (Ghana-Must-Go bag) believed to have been loaded with cash.
Three soldiers were said to have been in the military vehicle that was heading towards Ikpoba-hill axis of the Benin metropolis when the fearless assailants ambushed them at the traffic lights along Akpakpava road by First Junction at about 2: 10 p.m.
It was gathered that the hoodlums drove in an unmarked ash colour Toyota Camry car against the traffic (one way) towards the army vehicle as two of the four occupants allegedly alighted and opened fire on the soldiers.
Amid the rain of bullets, the three soldiers were said to have abandoned their patrol vehicle and the loaded Ghana-must-go bag as they raced to different directions for possibly safety.
Eyewitnesses said the attackers grabbed the bag from the military patrol van, dropped it in their operational Toyota Camry car and sped.
It could not, however, be ascertained whether the soldiers were armed and their arms taken away by the suspected robbers.
The incident, the eyewitnesses said to be first of its kind in recent years in the state capital, sent cold shivers down the spine of traders and motorists in and around Dawson area of Benin City. Some hawkers, who witnessed and narrated the ugly attack, said many people around would have died if the soldiers had opportunity to respond to the gunfire of their attackers.
“One of the three soldiers fell down there while running away, he tried to get up, but he couldn’t, he was just bleeding. Later, his two other colleagues came out to meet him but they were helpless.
“Imagine a popular and busy Junction like this, government cannot install security cameras to record whatever is going on here, it’s unfortunate”, a shop owner said.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, 4 Brigade Nigerian Army headquarters, Benin City, Captain Yusuf Sokoya said “ok, I will find out if it is true, don’t call again, I will call you”, which he didn’t do as at press time.
However, Public Relations Officer of the Edo State Police command, Mr. Chidi Nwabuzor confirmed the incident.
He said a soldier was killed when hoodlums attacked a military patrol vehicle at first Junction, Akpakpava road, Benin City some minutes past 2.0 pm.
“Edo State Police Command can confirm that a military personnel was killed today (Wednesday) in Benin City.
“A good Nigerian reported the incident at the police station covering that neighborhood.
“The hoodlums carted away Ghana-must-go bag believed to have been loaded with cash kept inside the army van.
“Since they were in their patrol vehicle, they should be armed. The assailants acted on information. Investigation will unravel all that,” Nwabuzor said.