Police Kill Army Captain In PH …Soldiers Invade Station, Arrest DPO

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, addressing party faithful during the flag off of campaign for local government elections, yesterday.

There was heightened tension in the Ada-George Road axis of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, yesterday, as soldiers invaded Ada-George Police Station, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, released suspects in detention and beat up policemen on duty in retaliation to the killing by the police of their colleague, alleged to be a captain attached to the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt.
The details of the incident were sketchy at the time of this report, however, it was gathered that at about 7.00am, yesterday, when people were rushing to their workplaces and businesses, a soldier dressed in mufti and was lodging at Sanchin Hotel at Elioparanwo junction had come out of the hotel with his AK-47 strapped on his shoulder, when he was shot dead by three policemen in a patrol vehicle at the popular Gateway International Church junction.
Sources at the scene told The Tide that the policemen had engaged the lone soldier in a confrontation over his brazen display of loaded gun while in mufti, apparently suspecting him to be a criminal.
It was learnt that the soldier had tried to explain to the policemen that he was an Army officer attached to the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, but the three policemen refused to listen and understand, and instead, shot at him three times, before the captain collapsed and died instantly.
It was also gathered that after the soldier, who was suspected to be an armed hoodlum was shot dead, within minutes, the sound of the gunshot aroused the attention of some other soldiers who were also lodging at the hotel.
The soldiers had rushed to the scene, where they identified their colleague, who was already in his pool of blood.
The policemen in the said patrol vehicle were alleged to have taken to their heels and disappeared from the scene immediately after they discovered that the man shot dead was a real Army officer.
An eyewitness said in less than five minutes, scores of angry armed soldiers from the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army stormed the Ada-George Police Station, at Rumukpakani along the road, and demanded for an explanation on the death of the officer.
Sources said that when they could not get satisfactory reason for the death of their colleague, the soldiers allegedly beat up policemen on duty, released some of the detained suspects, and took the divisional police officer along with them to Bori Camp, where the 6 Division’s headquarters is located.
While the fracas lasted, Ada-George Road was blocked by the police, causing panic and gridlock for several hours before the barricade was removed.
The Tide further learnt that the top brass of the Army in the state, which was briefed of the incident, had met yesterday with the top leadership of the state police command with a view to addressing the ugly situation, and forestall any future escalation of the conflict.
Normalcy has since returned to the Ada-George area of the city.
Spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, who had earlier picked his call, told The Tide that he was on a live television programme, and would get back to our reporter with details on the incident.
But as at the time of filing this report, Omoni could not deliver on his promise, and several phone calls put across to him later in the day could not be answered.
Similarly, efforts to reach the spokesman of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army on the incident proved abortive.