By Nkasi Kolie
Gunmen in their numbers, in the early hours of Monday attacked the headquarters of Abia State Police command in Umuahia, the state capital, killing an Inspector of Police.
The victim, according to reliable information, was said to be one of the policemen on guard duty on the road in front of the headquarters.
The gunmen were said to have unsuccessfully attempted to overrun the station, struck around 1am but were repelled by the superior firepower of the policemen on duty.
Journalists were denied access to the facility as the place was cordoned off as at press time.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Abia State Police Command, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident.
In a statement titled “Repelled attack on Abia police command facility”, Ogbonna said it was unfortunate that about 1am yesterday, gunmen disguised in military camouflage and, using gun truck, opened fire at the policemen on pin down duty in front of 28 Police Mobile Force beside the State Command Headquarters, Bende Road, Umuahia.
“The policemen, who were on red alert, returned firing which repelled the hoodlums from carrying out their dastardly intentions and quickly fled the scene with bullet injuries.
“Regrettably, one Inspector Friday Adama of 17 Police Mobile Force, Akure, on Operation Restore Peace special duty in the Command, lost his life during the gun duel.
“The Abia State Police Command, therefore, has called on Abians, residents, operators of medical facilities and the general public within and outside the State to volunteer information on anyone found or presented with bullet injuries to the police or other security agencies.
“Parents and guardians are also advised to warn their children and wards to refrain from evil acts before, during and after this festive period.”
Following the incident, security was beefed up in Umuahia, on Monday, as about eight truckloads of soldiers and policemen were seen patrolling the streets of the capital city.