Mudiaga Affe, Calabar
Five persons, including a police sergeant, Mr Jude Ndi, were killed by armed robbers who operated around the Utugwang axis in the Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Southern City News learnt on Sunday that four suspected armed robbers, who wore Police Mobile Force uniforms allegedly carrying the insignia of the command in Makurdi, neighbouring Benue State, had robbed passengers and residents of Utugwang.
The suspected armed robbers were said to have robbed residents of Ogoja, in Ogoja LGA of Cross River State on September 13, 2018 before proceeding to Obudu on the same day.
A security agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the suspects had earlier attacked residents of Mbube community of the Ogoja LGA before they were chased away.
He said, “We gathered that they robbed in Ogoja, attacked some Fulani people and made away with huge sums of money and when they were chased, they ran into hiding in the boundary between Utugwang in Obudu and Mbube in Ogoja.
“The robbers emerged from hiding on Wednesday and shot one person dead. They collected the victim’s car, a Volkswagen Golf, and drove into Utugwang, where they were resisted by the locals.
“The youths formed a barricade and began throwing stones at them. This provoked them and one of the suspected armed robbers came down asking them why they were attacking government personnel and in the process they shot another person dead instantly.
“The other boys ran but the robbers chased them into one building and opened fire, killing two others on the spot.”
The source further disclosed that the robbers walked down close to the Utugwang market where they were confronted by a detachment of police personnel from the Obudu Police Division, led by Sergeant Jude Ndi, who was shot in the course of a gun duel.
Other policemen, who were also said to have been attacked, are recuperating in an undisclosed hospital.
It was learnt that others persons who sustained gunshot injuries are also recuperating in various hospitals in Obudu.
When contacted, the Cross River State Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident.
She disclosed that the robbers had actually escaped from Ogoja after they had a gun duel with policemen, following a failed attempt to snatch a Ford vehicle with registration number, Taraba, SDA 559 XA, along Mbok-Ekpugirinya junction of the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja highway on Tuesday.
Ugbo disclosed that the armed robbers, who were dressed in police uniform, escaped to neighbouring Obudu, where in an attempt to stop their operation, a police sergeant was killed.
“The suspected armed robbers, in police uniform, had operated around Ogoja axis on Tuesday. They had a gun battle with policemen but managed to escape. They went on to Obudu to continue their operations the next day. They were also confronted, unfortunately a police sergeant was killed.
“Two other policemen sustained gun wounds. The robbers too had gun wounds but they escaped to neighbouring Benue State. The Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, contacted his Benue State counterpart on the development,” she said.
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