The Edo State Commissioner of Police, DanMalam Mohammed, on Wednesday confirmed the death of a police sergeant, Yusuf Igoche, in a gun duel with armed robbers on Lagos-Benin Expressway on Tuesday.
The sergeant, he said was on escort duty with a school principal who sustained several injuries and was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
He said that they were on their way to Lagos from Enugu State when they ran into an ambush.
“They were coming from Enugu, the police sergeant was on escort (duty) with the principal. They ran into an ambush of armed robbers. He came out but unfortunately he lost his life,” he said
The police boss said the case is under investigation and a formal report on the incident has been made at the Edo State command.
“We are investigating. As I’m talking to you I just sent a combined team of police officers into the bush now. On that day they followed them and they abandoned their car and a lot of things are recovered from the car.
“So I told them to smoke the forest. They used long-range tear gas. When they saw our police they entered into the bush but they didn’t know the road and immediately they reached a dead end, they abandoned the car there. Our men went there yesterday but I sent them back today again because there is the possibility that they (gunmen) will come out,” he said.
Police source said the incident occurred around 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the Benin Bypass.
It was revealed that the gunmen who came out of surrounding bushes, rained bullets on the Lexus GX470 Sports Utility Vehicle conveying Igoche and the school principal.
The police and the Edo State government have since commenced the clearing of all bushes by the roadside of Lagos-Benin Expressway to boost visibility of motorists following the spate of kidnapping and attacks on the highway.
The matter was raised on the floor of the state House of Assembly in a motion of urgent national importance by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yekini Idiaye.
As a result, security was beefed up in the area with road checkpoints mounted by the police, soldiers and vigilante group.