***Female journalist robbed at gunpoint
By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
There was tension and fear in Benin City, headquarter of Edo state as news filtered in that an unspecified number of detainees reportedly escaped from detention at the state Command Headquarter of the Nigerian Police on Saturday night.
Most of the escapees are said to be those arrested for kidnappings, robbery and the ongoing cult-related killings in the state.
As an immediate measure, some officers of the state command and others who were on duty at the time of the incident have been reportedly detained while the road by the Command Headquarters which was recently partially reopened after the #EndSARS protest was completely closed to traffic.
As at the time of filing this report, the Commissioner of Police, who was recently promoted as Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, Babatunde Johnson Kokumo and the Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor have not responded to their calls or issued any statement on the incident.
The AIG Zone Five PPRO, Tijani Momoh, said he had not been briefed by the state command who he said is the appropriate authority to respond to such enquiries.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations of the state command Mr Ajala Ayoola, when contacted, denied that the incident happened on Saturday night but did not give further information. He simply said, “Yes, but it’s not true that it happened last night (Saturday), wait for a statement from the PPRO.”
Vanguard gathered that some top police officers attached to Edo state government house including the Chief Security Officer (CSO), Camp Commandant and the Aide Camp to the governor have got a signal of redeployment but it was not clear whether it is related to the incident.
Meanwhile, a female journalist and former Chairperson, Edo State Chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and former Vice Chairman, Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Flora Bossey was robbed and dispossessed of most her belongings including her phones while trying to use an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at Ring Road, the city centre.
The two gunmen were said to have waited for her to finish the cash withdrawal when they immediately swooped on her at gunpoint.
Bossey said the sight of the gunmen was very scary adding they took her Zenith and First Bank ATM cards and forced her to give them the PIN numbers.