Tragedy was averted on Saturday at Aba Central Police Station, Aba, Abia State, when an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ran amok and started firing sporadically and assaulting wives of other policemen in the area.
Vanguard gathered that the incident began at about 7 pm when the policeman, identified as Henry, started assaulting women, children and shop owners near the station.
Eyewitnesses told Vanguard that the policeman fired several shots in the air, and battered people including wives of fellow police officers who own shops at the gate of the station.
One of the women who sell roasted chicken, yams and plantains had all her goods thrown into the gutter by the policeman, who also destroyed her kiosk and beat her up. The situation caused panic in the area, even as people who sustained injuries were taken to the Aba General Hospital, near the station.
While being led into the station, the ASP was said to have caused another scare when he grabbed an AK-47 rifle held by one of the Mobile Police officers who held him. It took the intervention of other mobile policemen who beat him hard on his arm before he left the gun as they bundled him into the police station.
According to shop owners; “The policeman suddenly started shooting in the air, creating panic.”
“He scared fellow police officers with his pistol and ran after people and beat them up including wives of other policemen.”
“We feared for the worst when he stopped firing in the air and began aiming at people with his pistol.”
“It was only when he bent to fix his pistol that some Mobile Policemen dashed to the scene and disarmed him. So this is how we would have ended on earth? God, thank you.”
“Thank you Jesus for preserving my life. Nobody is safe anymore. If a policeman can do this kind of thing to me, what are we saying again?”
“What did we do to him? What is our offence? For escaping alive, I’ll serve God forever.”
Contacted, Abia State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna said that the officer is being detained by the police.
He said; “The Nigerian Police is a disciplined organization. And there are laid down procedures in handling the issue of any erring officer, irrespective of his rank and cadre.”
“I condemn the action of the police officer and I have to tell you that he is in custody right now and he will be treated departmentally.”
@ Vanguard Newspaper