Bayelsa State Police Command has been thrown into confusion following the killing of seven policemen in Ughelli, Delta State, by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad over their alleged involvement in armed robbery.
All the seven policemen were said to have hailed from various communities in Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that a police sergeant attached to the Bayelsa State Police Command Armoury, was also arrested and taken to the Force Headquarters of the Nigeria Police in Abuja over an allegation that he was involved in illegally issuing arms to the policemen.
The arrested police Armourer is also said to be pastor of a church in the Bayelsa capital, Yenagoa.
The seven policemen were reportedly shot dead during a gun battle between them and operatives of the Delta State Anti-robbery squad.
Though the Bayelsa State Police Command declined to make official statement on the tragedy, sources within the police confirmed that the incident occurred at night on Wednesday last week.
It was, however, learnt that the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Nkereuwem Akpan, led a team of officers to the Delta State Command to retrieve the corpses of the dead policemen.
A source claimed that the deceased policemen were in the ranks of sergeants and corporals and were indigenes of the state.
The source said, “The reported killing of the seven policemen in the shootout in Delta State is causing uproar at the command.”
” They were reported to have been engaging in armed robbery activities when they encountered the Delta Special Anti-Robbery Squad in a shoot out. They were all killed.”
Attempts to get the spokesperson of the command, Asinim Butswat, to comment on the development proved abortive as his phone was not available as of press time.
But the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, said he was not aware of the incident.
Another source from the Bayelsa State Police Command, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the incident, saying it occurred at Ughelli, Delta State.
He said, “What you said is true. But I dont want to speak further. Don’t also rule out a case of mistaken identity. There were also some criminal motives attributed to the policemen. They were found where they were not supposed to be. They were carrying guns and at the same time in mufti.”