Two soldiers and three policemen including the Divisional police officer (DPO) in charge of Okhuahie Division in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of the State who were allegedly shot by some trigger-happy vigilante members in the State have been hospitalised.
Mr. Isaac Aikinmoyede, Assistant Inspector-General of police, Zone 5 headquarters in Benin City through a statement by the Zonal Police Public Relations officer, DSP Tijani Momoh said the DPO was attacked along with two police officers while “addressing aggrieved youths of Okhuahie Community on Sunday June 13, 2021 when members of the Edo State Security Network (Vigilante) operating in the area arrived in two Sienna buses and a Mercedes Benz car and started shooting sporadically”.
Tijani said the the police received information that the house of the leader of Ugonoba Community was set ablaze by hoodlums over the murder of a member in Community and intervened when the incident occurred.
He revealed that the DPO and two other police personnel who were caught in the web, and unspecified number of Civilians sustained gunshot injuries during the attack.
The police spokesman however did not give details of the soldiers that were also injured in the attack.
But Edo State Commissioner of police, Mr. Phillip Ogbadu told journalists at the State police Command headquarters on Wednesday June 16, 2021 that the DPO, two policemen and two soldiers who sustained gunshot injuries in the attack had been hospitalised and are recuperating.
The CP skater around the details of the attack, but admitted that: “We have two suspects that are on the run in respect of the case that happened on Sunday at Okhuahie.
“We still some people on admission in respect of that. We have two soldiers and three policemen who are involved. We are still tracking other fleeing suspects”, linked to Okhuahie attack.
Corroborating his view, the AIG, held a meeting with members of Edo State vigilante network last week Sunday in Benin City and read the riot act to them.
He assured that police will organise a training for the personnel of the network especially in the area of intelligence gathering and operational duties.
The police boss, disclosed plans to profile them in order to avoid a situation where criminals infiltrate their ranks and warned them against setting up detention facilities.
“The AIG has directed that the case be thoroughly investigated and all those involved in the shooting incident be brought to book. He also called for strict supervision and regulation of the activities of the vigilantes operating in Edo State”, he said.
He also acknowledged the contributions of the vigilante members in aiding the Police in the fight against crime and criminality and charged them to continue to carry out their duties professionally.
The AIG further warned that the vigilante are not to maintain detention camps, stressing that all suspects arrested should be immediately handed over to the Police for diligent investigation and possible prosecution.
According to him, “Police will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any vigilante member who involves himself in illegal duty or other criminal activities.