No fewer than three policemen and four residents of the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun State lost their lives during encounters with some gunmen suspected to be militants.
It was learnt that the three policemen, attached to the Lagos State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, lost their lives last Thursday after the gunmen abducted a Chinese expatriate.
The operatives had engaged the gunmen in a shootout when the three policemen were killed.
Another resident was also hit by a stray bullet and died on the spot.
It was learnt that the assailants on Friday attacked the home of a businessman, identified as Chief Rafiu Daramola, where they reportedly carted away N4.7m.
They were said to have shot dead three residents while escaping from the scene.
A community leade said the three policemen and one resident were killed in Odi Omi, a boundary community between Lagos and Ogun states.
He said, “Last week Thursday, the militants kidnapped a Chinese expatriate. As they were leaving with their victim, the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad engaged them in a gun battle. The gunmen, however, shot dead three policemen and an indigene. The corpses were later removed and deposited in a morgue by the police.”
The Ogun State police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the killing of the three residents, adding that the slain policemen were not from the state command.
He said, “They invaded the businessman’s house, but our policemen were able to repel them. At the end of the encounter, we arrested one of the suspects, while their operational vehicle was recovered.
“The suspect is helping with investigation. The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Iliyasu, has deployed some special units of the police, including men from the Federal SARS, Mobile Police Force, Anti-Kidnapping Unit, and other conventional policemen, in the scene to ensure security of lives and property.”
The Chairman, Ogun Waterside LGA, Femi Onanuga, confirmed the killing of the policemen, adding that they were from the Lagos State Police Command.
He said, “The three policemen and another man were killed during the shootout to free the Chinese expatriate. It was after that encounter that the militants attacked the businessman and stole the money.
“Earlier, they had kidnapped another settler, Mrs. Shittu. She was held in captivity for two weeks, until her husband paid a ransom of N1.4m.
“We are calling on the state and federal governments to come to our rescue. These militants must not overwhelm us,” he added.