By Dayo Johnson & Shina Abubakar, Akure
Fresh facts emerged, yesterday, on why six gunmen attacked a police station in the heart of Akure, the Ondo State capital, killing a police inspector, Temenu Boluwaji.
Boluwaji was gunned down by the bandits, who stormed the Okuta Elerinla police station, at about 1 am.
A reliable police source told Vanguard that the bandits came looking for arms and ammunition to steal for other planned operations.
The source said: “About six of the gunmen came to the station around 1am when they thought the policemen on duty would be weak or probably sleeping, they scaled through the fence to overpower the officers on duty.
“They met some policemen, who were the station guards, on alert. The guards repelled the attack of the bandits who were coming to the station to steal arms and ammunition.
“One of the station guards rescued the suspects in the police custody, especially women and took them into safe custody while the others engaged the bandits.
“It was when the station guard was trying to see if there were others left that the hoodlums saw his touch light and shot directly at the light, killing the inspector. The inspector later died on his way to the state hospital.
“There was no high profile suspect in the police custody at the station. They came looking for arms for other operations. But they were repelled.
In an interview, one of the residents in the area, who spoke in confidence, said the exchange of gunshots between the bandits and policemen kept him awake throughout the night.
He said: “We were very scared, we hide inside the toilet when we started hearing the heavy gunshots. We started praying.
“What came to our mind was the ugly incident of the terrorist attack of Owo church where about 50 persons were killed inside church.
“My family members thought the end has come and we stayed inside the toilet till about 5 am when we didn’t hear gunshots anymore. We later learned that it was some bandits that attacked the police station in the area.”
Speaking on the attack, spokesperson for the state police command, Funmi Odunlami, confirmed the incident, saying: “On July 25, 2022 around 0100 am, hoodlums attacked Okuta Elerinla Division, in Akure.
“Policemen, who were at alert and alive to their duty repelled them accordingly and the miscreants were unable to gain entrance into the station.
“During the crossfire, one of our gallant station guards AP.207538 0INSPR, Temwnu Boluwaji was hit by a bullet, he later died on his way to the hospital.
Odunlami added that no arrest has been made but that the attackers would soon be apprehended.
Meanwhile, the state police Commissioner, Oyeyemi Oyediran, has ordered the State Criminal Investigation Department to take over the case and ensure the perpetrators are arrested.
Oyediran appealed to “the people of the state to go about their lawful duty without fear, as the days of these criminals are numbered.
Police inspector killed in attempt to kidnap expatriates
In a related development, a police inspector attached to mining expatriates in Osun State was, Sunday, killed during a shootout with kidnappers attempting to abduct the foreigners.
It was gathered that the kidnappers waylaid two expatriates, their driver and their three police escorts at Aruwa village, via Ifewara around 7 am and started shooting at their vehicle.
The policemen fired back and during the exchange, the inspector was killed while one of the kidnappers was also gunned down.
Sources in the community disclosed that the shootout lasted almost 20 minutes.
Confirming the incident, Osun Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Yemisi Opalola, said an inspector was killed during the attack while a sergeant in the team also killed one of the kidnappers and recovered his AK-47 rifle numbered 97698 with 16 rounds of live ammunition, while another 32 rounds were recovered from the scene.
She said: “The Divisional Police Officer later mobilised policemen and local hunters to the scene. The forest was combed and four suspects were arrested. Two Android mobile phones were recovered from the suspects.
“The AK-47 rifle belonging to the killed inspector with rounds of live ammunition was carted away by some of the kidnappers. The bodies of the kidnappers and the policemen have been deposited at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ilesa for autopsy.”