By George Edomwonyi
Gunmen have attacked the Divisional Police Command at Afuze, headquarters of the Owan-East Local Government Area of Edo, killing the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and three other officers on duty.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hoodlums also attacked the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the town, and destroyed electoral materials and burning down a police van in the compound.
The officers killed in the attack were: Supt. Tosimani Ojo, the DPO of the station; Sgt. Justina Aghomon, a pregnant woman, Insp. Sado Isaac and Cpl. Glory David.
A witness, Mr Godwin Ikpekhia, told NAN on Wednesday that the incident occurred at about 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, while many of the officers in the division had gone on outside duties.
“We only heard gunshots and nobody knew what actually happened until Wednesday morning.
“The divisional police officer, alongside three other officers who were on duty were killed on the spot, inside the building.
“The hoodlums didn’t just stop at that; they went to the INEC office and were shooting sporadically at policemen who were on duty there.
“Election materials and a police van at the INEC office were burnt by the hoodlums,’’ he said.
The Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr Muhammed Danmallam, who visited the scene, said that investigation would commence immediately.
Danmallam vowed that those responsible for the attacks will be brought to book.
“Urgent steps will be taken to curb the increasing cases of criminality in the Owan axis of the state,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that the attacks on officers and men of the Nigeria Police have become quite unusual in the Owan area.
On July 14, last year, four police officers were killed at a checkpoint in the area and burnt inside their Hilux Patrol van.
Also on Jan. 23, this year, the All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly candidate for Owan-West, Mr Ohio Ezomo, was kidnapped, while his orderly was killed on the spot.