Monday, December 30, 2019 10:46 pm
By Jethro Ibileke
A yet to be identified police officer is currently battling for survival at the Irrua Specialist Hospital, in Edo state, following gunshot injuries he sustained during a boundary dispute between two communities in the state.
The disputed boundary is between Itsukwi and Imiakabu communities, in Etsako East local government area of the state.
Sources in one of the warring communities, however, insisted that five persons, including a police officer, were killed in the ensuing gun battle with police operatives.
But the State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, told journalists in a telephone interview that no life was lost during the crisis.
It was gathered that crisis over the boundary has been on for a very long time, with both communities claiming ownership of the land before now, but it has never degenerated to a situation where lives are lost.
The dispute however snowballed into crisis on Friday when youths of Imiakabu blocked the road from Okpella community to North Ibie, preventing motorists from taking route, which prompted the drafting of police operatives to the area to maintain law and order.
It was learnt that the youths opened fire on the police team, injuring one officer who was subsequently rushed to the hospital.
Sources in the community told journalists on phone that when a team of police operatives was deployed to the area on Saturday to effect arrest, the youths again opened fire on them and the police responded.
The sources added that five persons, including a police officer, were killed in the process, with many other sustaining varying degrees of injuries.
The police authorities in the state however denied the claims.
“A police officer was injured during the crisis and that the officer is receiving treatment at the intensive care unit of Irua Specialist Hospital, Irrua.
“Investigation is ongoing to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” Nwabuzor said.