From Matthew Aramunde,Lagos with agency report
The Lagos State Police Command on Wednesday confirmed that two policemen were killed in a shootout with pipeline vandals at Owutu area of Ikorodu.
The command’s Public Relation Officer (PPRO), DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN learnt that the vandals in their numbers had gone there to vandalise pipelines and steal petrol on Sunday night.
They were said to be operating in the area when officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) intercepted them.
Following resistance by the vandals, the NSCDC called for reinforcement from the Police and the military.
With the joint effort to arrest the alleged oil thieves fracas erupted in which two policemen were said to have been killed and the vandals sustained gunshot wounds.
NAN also learnt that the suspected pipeline vandals on Monday stormed the Owutu Police Station and opened fire at policemen who were on duty.
Nwosu said that that two of the policemen were shot dead, while about five others were injured in the fracas.
“The shootout was between the policemen at the Owutu Division and some suspected vandals.
“A lot of people, including the vandals were injured in the shootout and after they killed our men, they escaped but with several gunshot wounds.
“We shot many of them but they escaped with bullet wounds,” he said.
The PPRO said that amid the sporadic gunshots, the vandals proceeded to loot the station’s armoury and took away some of the guns.
Nwosu added that effort to arrest the suspected oil vandals was ongoing. (NAN).
However, Peoples Daily gathered that some pipeline vandals had been arrested after a raid on their hideout and detained by the police at the station on Monday, but the vandals regrouped and attacked the Police Station, killing two police corporals in the process.
When our reporter visited the Police Station on Tuesday morning, there was palpable tension in the air as the area was cordoned off by policemen.
Sources at the Police Station disclosed that the incident may have escalated because of the police men’s alleged regular connivance with the oil thieves over the years.