SOME residents of Rex Lawson in Borikiri area of Port Harcourt have fled their homes, while others remain on alert after some suspected cultists gunned down a Police Officer attached to the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Rivers State Police Command, Wednesday night. Nigerian Pilot gathered that the Policemen numbering three had come to the area following a tipoff to make some arrests, including a suspected cultist who had been on the wanted list of the Police. The policemen, it was gathered had arrested the wanted suspect and two other of his friends, when one of them escaped with handcuffs. A resident who pleaded anonymity told this reporter that there was exchange of gunfire between the fleeing
suspect and the three policemen, leading to the death of one of the operatives. At least one building was burnt, while several others were vandalised in the Rex Rawson Waterfront where the incident took place by unknown persons early yesterday. There were also sporadic gunshots in the neighbourhood from late Wednesday night to the early hours of yesterday, making residents to scamper for safety. Also no fewer than 30 vehicles parked along the Rex Lawson Street were vandalised with residents of the area accusing men of the Anti-Cultism Unit of the State Police Command of being responsible for the destruction. Hon. Daddy Gigi, a resident, whose two cars were vandalised, wondered why the Police resorted to the destruction and vandalisation of properties instead of making arrests. He said: “This morning (Thursday), my tenants came to call me that they saw some policemen around my cars. Only for me to come out and see that my cars have been vandalised. I am really shocked as I am talking to you. What happened is like a dream to me. All the cars on my street and houses were vandalised. “I got a wind that the Anti- Cultism Unit of the Police came to make some arrests and they had a shoot-out with a group of boys. That is the much that I can say about that. First of all, I want to let the public know what the Nigerian Police that said they are our friends, did this to us. “If a problem of that type happened, what they should have done is to come for arrests and not to destroy innocent people’s property. In fact, their duty is to protect lives and property, not to destroy.” Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Francis Mobolaji Odesanya, yesterday, led senior police officers to pay an unscheduled visit to Borikiri, where the incident occurred and order full investigation. Reacting to the ugly incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, DSP Omoni Nnamdi, said Odesanya directed the State Criminal Investigations Department, SCID, to carry out a full scale investigation into the killing of the policeman and destruction of properties. Nnamdi said: “Well, investigation has been ordered; the Commissioner of Police has ordered for intensive investigation into the incident. The State Criminal Investigations Department is handling the investigation.”

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