Armed men yesterday attacked Abayi Police Station (World Bank Housing Estate Police Station), Aba, Abia State, and killed two policemen. The gunmen, numbering over 50, invaded the station about 2am and destroyed operational vehicles at the station.
They reportedly broke into the police armoury and stole arms. The state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Janet Agbede, visited the station between 7am and 9am for an on-the-spot-assessment.
About 9.30am, when New Telegraph visited the police station, there were at least 10 burnt vehicles while some others were still on fire. It was learnt that the gunmen also broke the wall of the World Bank Magistrates’ Court, at Abayi at the back of the police station, brought out some case files and set them ablaze.
A resident of the area said the attackers caused panic among the residents because of the sporadic shootings all through the night.
The resident also claimed that some of the hoodlums were arrested when they went to deposit one of their members killed during the shootout with the police. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, said it was one officer who was killed in the incident and not two.
Ogbonna confirmed that gunmen broke into the station from a nearby court, gained entrance into the station and then attacked the police thereafter. He said: “The hoodlums entered the police station through the court near the station to attack the policemen.
“They were armed with different types of weapons including petrol bombs with which they burnt the station and set ablaze exhibit vehicles. “But the frantic effort of the policemen on duty helped to repel the hoodlums and reduce the number of casualties on the part of the police.
“Some of the hoodlums were also gunned down while some of them escaped with bullet injuries.
“We are therefore calling on the public to help the police with credible information to help unravel the people behind the attack. “Even though it is the right of citizens with bullet injuries to be treated by hospitals with or without police permission, the hospitals should give us information to help us identify the culprits.”
Although the PPRO confirmed that some arrests were made, he did not say if those arrested had anything to do with the attack. Residents claimed that after the attack, the police began mass arrests in the area.
Some residents told New Telegraph that the area was like a war zone, as many armed officers had taken over the area and blocked the roads from Umuojima Junction to MCC Junction.