Theophilus Onojeghen, Warri
An unidentified mobile policeman guarding an oil facility operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company has reportedly shot dead a soldier in Odimodi community, in the Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the incident occurred on Saturday during a misunderstanding between the two men.
A credible community source, who confirmed the incident, said he could not tell what led to the argument.
He noted that witnesses had seen the two security men engage in a fierce exchange of words.
Other members of the team were said to have gone on a patrol of oil facilities in the area at the time.
He said the argument was followed by multiple gunshots a few minutes later.
The source explained that the policeman, after killing the victim, shot continuously into the air to scare away residents before absconding with the victim’s rifle.
It was gathered that operatives of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, later sent some of its men to remove the corpse from the scene.
A community leader, who did not want to be identified, said the development had created tension among residents, adding that there was fear that the military might invade the community to search for the fleeing policeman.
He said, “The incident happened on Saturday at noon. The two officers – a mopol and the military officer – were members of a combined security team stationed to guard oil facilities in Odimodi community. They had a misunderstanding. After a while, we heard gunshots.
“When people got there, they discovered that the mobile policeman had killed the soldier. The policeman cocked his gun and fired at the soldier and thereafter shot to scare people away from the scene.
“He (policeman) took the soldier’s gun and ran away. As of now, he has not been apprehended. The JTF authorities have removed the corpse of the slain soldier. There is tension in the community as we speak. People are afraid that the military may invade the community.”
Another source said residents had no hand in the killing, adding that the community leadership was ready to collaborate with security agencies to fish out the culprit if he was still in the area.
The spokesperson for Operation Delta Safe, Major Ibrahim Abdullahi, said he was not aware of the incident.
He said, “I don’t know your source and I’m not aware of anything like that.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Aniamaka, promised to react after speaking to the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area.
He had yet to get back as of press time.
However, an operative of the Department of State Services confirmed the incident, adding that efforts were being made to apprehend the killer cop.
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