There was tension in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, Wednesday, following the brutal murder of a senior police officer identified as Mathew Akpos by gunmen described as “special police squad”.
Akpos said to be an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) was reportedly gunned down by gunmen close to the OMPADEC school field in Amarata suburb of the state capital.
The victim was killed at about 5pm on Monday by his assailants.
Residents in the area identified the gunmen as a “special police squad” from unknown division.
“The gunmen dressed like a special police squad. They wore the outfits of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and police bulletproof vests”, a resident who spoke to the Nation in confidence said.
He said the gunmen drove into the community on a black Hilux vehicle and accosted their target.
“There were gunshots all over the place. I was at a supermarket directly opposite the scene of the incident. The way they drive into the community was suspicious and sent panic waves all over the place.
“But the gunshots caused commotion in the area as people even youths who were playing football abandoned the game and scampered for safety,” he said.
Another source from the community said the gunmen trailed the victim to the area and wanted to force him into their vehicle.
He said while Akpos was being dragged into the car, he resisted his assailants and in the process pulled out his pistol from its casing.
He said the deceased police officer shot at the gunmen left him temporarily and staggered to safety.
“One of the gunmen who was standing close to the Hilux van immediately pulled out his gun and shot the victim who fell to the ground.
“They later packed his body into their vehicle and zoomed off. Bullets also hit an elderly woman in her 60s. She was taken to the hospital where doctors operated on her.
“We are still living in shock because we don’t know the motive behind the operation that led to the killing of a police officer by persons who looked like his colleagues”, he said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Butswat Asinim, said information at the disposal of the police was still sketchy.
He, however, said investigations were ongoing to solve the mysteries surrounding the incident especially following claims that the gunmen went away with the victim’s body.