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Gunmen invade police station, free criminals in Niger


Ex-policeman, two others killed in cult clash in A’Ibom
Unknown gunmen yesterday invaded a police station in Lemu town, the headquarters of Gbako local government area of Niger State and freed some criminals held by the police.

It was gathered that the 10-man gang stormed Lemu town in two Hilux pick-up vans and fired sporadically into the air to scare away members of the community. The gang invaded the Divisional Police Station in the town and took away some criminals detained in the station.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dibal Paul Yakadi, rushed to the community immediately he heard the news. The state government has, however, imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew while vigilance group members have been mobilized to go after the gunmen and arrest them.

Meanwhile in Akwa Ibom State, there seems to be no end in sight for violent clashes in Etim Ekpo Local Council as at least three persons have been reported killed following a bloody rival cult clash between Icelaand (the red) and Debam (the white) groups.

Among the dead is Okon Nkanang, a retired police officer from Nkanang compound in Ikot Udobong, and Akpan Inyang, from Ntuk compound in the neighbouring Ikot Obioma village.

Inyang, according to local sources, was killed by the Iceland group, in place of his brother, a member of the Debam group, said to have escaped soon after sighting the gun wielding Icelanders
on motorbikes en-route their compound at Ikot Obioma.

Although the motive behind the killing of the retired policeman could not be ascertained at press time, it was gathered that the deceased might have been a security informant or relation to a wanted member of the Debam group.

The incident occurred at Ikot Udobong, Ikot Obioma and Edem Akai group of villages in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of the state. Several persons were also injured in the exchange of gunfire between the rival groups.

On Wednesday, the same rival groups clashed along the Edem Akai axis of Iwukem-Etim Ekpo-Abak highway during which a commercial bus driver was killed and his bus burnt with eight passengers sustaining injuries.

Worried by the total collapse of security in the council, concerned stakeholders and elders called on the governor, Udom Emmanuel, to “save the people from the carnage”.

Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Odiko Ogbeche, said men of the command were working frantically to restore normalcy in the affected communities and urged the people to always volunteer information on activities of hoodlums in their neighbourhoods.

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