…as police parade 34 robbery, kidnappers, cultism suspects
There was pandemonium Friday evening at the popular New Benin Market in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State when suspected armed robbers invaded the area and shot sporadically.
The robbers had on arrival swooped on traders and market women and dispossessed them of their cash and other valuables.
By the time the dust died down, three persons were gunned down in the process.
Several shops belonging to Igbo traders were robbed and looted in the ever busy commercial area.
Most traders whose shops were located along Mission Road area of the market were not spared even as market women and road side traders scampered for safety during the melee.
The heavily armed men who stormed the area in a commando style had opened fire to scare the people as they had a field day operating in the area unchallenged.
However, some traders who braved the tense situation teamed up with the police and chased after the robbers.
The fleeing robbers sensing further danger opened fire on anybody on sight and killed two persons on the spot and wounded several others.
A middle aged girl, who was also shot, is said to be on the danger list at an undisclosed hospital.
The hoodlums were said to have escaped through the New Lagos Road end of the market.
Traders and motorists were said to have scampered for safety as the bandits shot sporadically as they fled.
Meanwhile, it was a harvest for the Edo State Police Command Friday as it paraded 34 suspects arrested for various criminals offences in the wake of the rising cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, car theft and bloody rival secret cult killings in parts of the state
Among those paraded by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Babatunde Kokumo included four Point of Sale (POS) armed robbery syndicate and 30 other suspected cultists, kidnappers and other robbery suspects.
Kokumo, said operatives of the command , in conjunction with local vigilantes also made arrest of five other suspects, adding that assorted laptops, five assorted handsets and one G-Tab were recovered from them.
He added that three fleeing inmates who escaped from Oko Correctional Centre and Benin Medium Centre during the EndSARS protest were re-arrested by the Command for their involvement in other crimes.
Kokumo, while assuring that the police would not rest in freeing the state of criminal elements, said that the Command successfully arrested seven suspected cultists who were allegedly engaging in disturbance of public peace and vandalism.
He warned those planning incursion into the state to steer clear from the state, the CP noted that the Command is fully prepared to wage war against criminality.