By Evelyn Usman
Thieves dressed in military camouflage engaged teams of police officers from the Ogun State Police Command in a shootout earlier this morning, leaving one of them dead.
The assembled armed gang blocked the Shagamu / Benin highway between 2.15 and 2.45 in the morning. They singled out motorists, most of whom were night commuters with flashlights, posing as security officers on duty, only to strip them of cash and valuables.
The divisional police officer attached to the Ijebu-Ife division, CSP Raphael Ugbenyo, was said to have mobilized his anti-theft team and a team from the special anti-theft squad, SARS, to the scene upon receiving a distress call.
Ogun State Police Command spokesman DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi said, “Upon seeing the policemen, the robbers engaged them in a shootout that lasted about 30 minutes. At the end of the encounter, one of the thugs was shot dead while others escaped into a nearby bush with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.
From the scene were recovered: two simulated pistols, a cell phone, assorted charms and a torch.
“The body of the suspect has been deposited in the morgue, while efforts are being made to arrest the fleeing gang members.
“Meanwhile, Police Commissioner CP Edward Ajogun, who praised his men for their gallantry, has led a thorough combing of the entire area, with a view to arresting fleeing members.
The PC also appealed to the public, especially hospitals, to alert the police of anyone with gunshot wounds in their area. He has also refocused his earlier warning to criminals to stay away from Ogun State, as the commando is more ready than ever to bring the battle to its doorstep.