1st September, 2021
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Doctors at Irrua Specialist Hospital, in Edo State, are battling to save the life of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Igarra Police Station, in Akoko-Edo Local Government of Edo State, Suleiman Muhammed, who was shot severally by gunmen on Tuesday.
The gunmen were said to have laid ambush for the DPO along the Auchi-Igarra-Ibillo Road, few metres before Sasaro.
The incident which occurred on Tuesday, at about 7.00pm, led to scores of motorists and other road users becoming stranded until the local vigilante group went to take away the seriously injured officer whose assailants were said to have thought he was dead.
A member of the vigilante group from Igarra, who narrated what happened, said the DPO was shot in the eyes, arm and stomach, and perhaps left to die.
The source who craved anonymity added that he might have been shot with AK-47, as they recovered bullets and other cartridges from the scene of the attack.
According to him: “The DPO had earlier called us in the morning to go to a place where they said some suspected yahoo boys were constituting nuisance.
“Later, around 3 pm, he told us that suspected kidnappers were blocking the road, so we went there and chased them away.
“I was told that in the evening after inspecting the change of guard, the DPO left for Auchi where his family resides. The people laid ambush after the MTN mast, near Sasaro and shot him several times. I believe they thought he was dead so they abandoned him.
“Their gunshots made motorists going to Auchi and coming from Auchi to stop until we arrived at the scene in company of the police and rush the DPO to the hospital.
“He was bleeding profusely because he was shot in the eyes, arm and stomach; after stabilizing him, he was rushed to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
“On Wednesday morning, I and my boys went back to the scene and we recovered used bullets and cartridges including those of AK 47,” he added.
Another member of the vigilante attributed the rising presence of kidnappers in that axis to a community along that road, which allegedly rented part of its land to herdsmen for grazing.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the State Command, Kontongs Bello, was said to be on an official assignment out of the State, could not confirm the incident.
But, sources at the Command said they were awaiting official details of the incident.