It has been confirmed that the Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, shot by suspected cultists last Thursday with two other policemen, an inspector and a corporal, is alive and recovering fast. The ACP, who heads the Benin Area Command Metro of the Edo State Police Command, was identified as Agabi Godiri. The trio was shot at the notorious Upper Sokponba Road axis of the town where they had gone in response to distress calls from residents who were being terrorized by some hoodlums.
In the last 48 hours, it had been widely rumoured that the ACP had died. The rumour was further fueled by the silence from police authorities in the state. Journalists were frustrated by the refusal of the Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, to respond to inquiries prompting some to simply go to town with the unconfirmed report. For example, effort by the magazine to confirm the report from Nwabuzor on Friday was unsuccessful. Initially, he asked this reporter to call back in five minutes, but thereafter, he refused to pick several calls to his phone, neither did he return the calls.
The crime correspondent of Edo Broadcasting Service, EBS, Festus Alenkhe, whose report was monitored on Sunday by the magazine, however confirmed that the ACP was alive and recuperating in the hospital, and indeed, that he would soon be discharged. Alenkhe, who reported that he just returned from the hospital in Benin City where Godiri was receiving medical attention, said “I saw the Assistant Commissioner of Police seeing off some visitors who came to check on him”. He said it was discovered that the Police Area Commander only sustained slight injury during the attack as had quickly beaten a retreat after he was fired at by the rampaging gun men.
According to the report, the ACP was not in uniform when he and his men ran into the hoodlums who immediately opened fire on his car. “But he quickly zoomed off from the area with the injury where he then called for police back-up from where he was taken to the hospital for immediate attention…But the police said the public space will not be left for miscreants to dominate as they have now rolled out measures to check criminal elements”, Alenkhe reported.
Benin City had been a theatre of cold-blooded murders since the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums as rival cult groups, the Aye and the Vikings engage in what can aptly be described as mutually assured destruction, leaving the town littered with mutilated bodies. In the last one week, about 38 persons had been brutally killed while there appears to be no end in sight to the raging gang war.