25th August, 2023
By Jethro Ibileke
Dare-devil gunmen suspected to be robbers on Wednesday afternoon attacked an army patrol van in Benin City, Edo State, killing a soldier in the process.
They were said to have also carted away a sack bag, commonly known as Ghana-Must-Go bag, believed to have been loaded with cash.
The incident allegedly occurred on Wednesday, at about 2 pm along Akpakpava Road, by the traffic light at First Junction.
It gathered that the hoodlums drove an unmarked ash-colored Toyota Camry car against the traffic towards the army vehicle ans two of the four occupants alighted and opened fire on the soldiers.
A shop owner in the area who volunteered comment on anonymous basis, disclosed that the three soldiers who emerged from one of the new generation banks in the area and were heading towards Ikpoba-hill axis in their patrol van their assailants struck.
He further related that the three soldiers scampered for safety in different directions, amidst rain of bullets from the barrel of the attackers’ rifles, abandoning the cash-laden Ghana-must-go bag.
One of the fleeing soldiers was said to have fallen down and died a few meters away from the scene of attack, after being hit by the attackers’ bullets.
It was further revealed that the gunmen grabbed the bag from the military patrol van, and went away with it in their own vehicle, a Toyota Camry.
No one was able to confirm if the soldiers were armed or if their arms were carted away by the assailants.
The source noted that many people around the point of incident would have died if the soldiers had opportunity to engage their attackers.
He said: “One of the three soldiers fell down there while running away, he tried to get up, but he couldn’t, he was just bleeding. Later, his two other colleagues came out to meet him but they were helpless.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, 4 Brigade Nigerian Army headquarters, in Benin, Captain Yusuf Sokoya, simply said: “Okay, I will find out if it is true. Don’t call again, I will call you”.
The spokesman for Edo State Police Command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, however confirmed the incident, saying that a soldier was killed in the attack.
“Edo State Police Command can confirm that a military personnel was killed today in Benin City. A good Nigerian reported the incident at the police station covering that neighborhood.
“The hoodlums carted away Ghana-Must-Go bag believed to have been loaded with cash kept inside the army van.
“Since they were in their patrol vehicle, they should be armed. The assailants acted on information. Investigation will unravel all that,” Nwabuzor stated.