Fleeing armed robbers have shot dead an officer, Inspector Mohammed Hameed, attached to the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Edo State Police Command. This was as members of the Edo State coalition of civil society groups – Network of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria (NOCSON) – yesterday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the police to publish the names of all the detainees who escaped from the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID) of the Edo State Command on New Year’s Day.
NO SON also asked the command to publish names of all of the police officers on duty on the day of the incident. Inspector Hameed was killed by the robbers during a gun battle. He was said to have died Wednesday night as policemen engaged the robbers in a gun duel during an operation at Lagos Street in Benin. One of the robbers was also shot dead by the police in the process. The policemen on patrol got a distress call that armed robbers snatched a car around King’s Square in Benin and headed towards Lagos Street. The police pursued the robbers.
But on sighting the police, the robbers opened fire at the patrol team and killed Hameed, who led the team. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached for comment on the incident. But a source close to the police command said an extensive investigation had been instituted towards arresting other fleeing members of the gang. Some of the robbers were believed to have sustained severe gunshot injuries. However, Hameed has since been buried, according to Islamic rites. Meanwhile, during a press conference held in Benin, the Acting President of NOCSON, Comrade Ogbidi Emmanuel, the Director of Publicity, Comrade Bevy Efe, and other members of the coalition, said they were shocked that detained suspects could escape in “the most secured” police facility in the state without any external attack.