AN ex-militant commander, Selekeme Alade, was shot dead and a police officer wounded by a police patrol team on the hunt for fleeing armed robbers on Okoloba Road, Effurun, near Warri, on Wednesday evening.
Angry Ijaw youths besieged Ekpan Police Station, Ekpan, Thursday morning, in protest, and it took the combined efforts of police officers and soldiers to dislodge them.
Selekeme, said to be an indigene of Ogiraigbene community in Bomadi Local Government Area, was reportedly returning from a restaurant where he went to buy food when the incident occurred.
Police Area Commander in Warri, Hussein Rabiu, confirmed to Vanguard when contacted, yesterday, that there was an incident in which a policeman and one other person were shot, but the circumstance surrounding the shooting was ambiguous.
Contrary to the allegation that the police officers mounted an illegal checkpoint, he said they were on patrol when they heard people shouting ‘robbers, robbers, robbers’ and they pursued the people.
He said they caught up with three persons at Okito Junction, but a police officer identified the driver as an executive of Uvwie youths, but just as they were exchanging pleasantries, gunshots were fired from an unknown quarter.
Rabiu said there were subsequent gunshots and at the end, a police officer was shot, adding, “He is currently in the hospital and one other person was shot dead on the spot”.
He confirmed that there was tension, as youths stormed Ekpan Police Station, Thursday, over the incident. He said he and the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, would have to wait for frayed nerves to calm down before they visit the area for further investigation.
The police chief, however, said the police officers involved in the operation had been detained for questioning, noting that it any of them was found to have done anything wrong in the course of his duty, then, appropriate disciplinary measure would be taken.