By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo—A police corporal attached to Cletus Ekpo, Transition Committee Chairman of Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was shot dead by gunmen who opened fire on their vehicle, yesterday.
It was learned that bullets also hit Cletus and his driver, but his orderly died on the spot. The assailants were said to have left without taking any money from the sum the Chairman withdrew from the bank.
Cletus, a younger brother to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chairman in the state, Paul Ekpo, was said to be going back to Etinan from Uyo, where he went to withdraw some money from a bank on Monday.
The gunmen were said to have trailed him to Mbiokporo Bridge in Enen Nsit, Etinan, and riddled the vehicle with bullets at close range. The driver was said to have gone into coma.
According to Ekpo, “I came out of a bank where I went for a transaction. I then drove on to Aka-Etinan Road, enroute Etinan and then I noticed that a car was following me. I did not bother.
“As I got close to the Mbiokporo Bridge, the car drove closer and the next thing I heard was several shots fired at us and then they asked ‘where is the money, where is the money?’.”
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Cordelia Nwawe, confirmed the incident, adding that the chairman and the driver were responding to treatment in a hospital.
She said: “The police corporal attached to Etinan Local Government Transition Chairman died while trying to prevent an attack on his principal from armed robbers. The chairman and the driver are responding to treatment at a hospital.”
Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom State Government had issued a statement forbidding members of the public to gather around banking premises or ATMs, even as it directed police to commence general stop-and-search with immediate effect.
The statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, said: “Consequently, loitering around financial institutions, particularly ATM booths, will not be tolerated and all those who have no business around ATMs in all parts of the state should steer clear.”