By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—Four members of Abia State Vigilante Service, AVS, popularly known as Bakassi Boys, were, yesterday, shot dead by gunmen suspected to be members of a notorious gang in Aba.
This came as two gunmen, operating on a motorcycle, trailed a businessman from a bank and robbed him of an undisclosed sum of money at Ehere Road area of the city.
On the vigilante killings, it was gathered that while three of the AVS personnel died on the spot, the fourth died on his way to the hospital.
Vanguard gathered that the vigilante group had foiled a kidnap attempt on an Aba-based businesswoman at Tonimas Junction by the gunmen, not knowing that the bandits later trailed them.
On sighting the AVS team while they were on patrol along Aba-Owerri Road, the gunmen reportedly opened fire on them, killing three on the spot.
The incident caused pandemonium around the area, forcing many shop owners to hurriedly close for the day, while motorists abandoned the route. Some passers-by, who sustained injures, were said to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the city.
A source from one of the security agencies in the state, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that four vigilante men died as a result of the shootout, but couldn’t confirm if there were others admitted in any hospital in Aba.
According to the source: “We (security agencies) are on their trail and will soon get to them. We are closing up on them. We want to use this opportunity to appeal to Aba residents to report suspected movements to the police and other security agencies in the state.”