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ACP Ndanbabo, killed by gunmen, was third time unlucky

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By Perez Brisibe

IRIKED by the audacity of gunmen who pumped bullets into an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, in charge of Ughelli Area Command, Usman Ndanbabo, last Sunday, leading to his death two days later, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, relocated to Ughelli with a vow to bring the perpetrators to book.

The attack on the ACP  came on the heels of kidnappings, armed robberies and cult related activities in Ughelli  even  as the question on the lips of many residents in the once peaceful town is, if an ACP could be shot dead  in public, what is their fate?

Ndanbabo …CP relocates to find his killers

Though men of  Ughelli Police Divisions ‘A’ and ‘B’ seem to be  checkmating the activities of criminals in the area, their achievements have been overshadowed by hoodlums who unleashed attacks  on the town, leading to the loss of lives of residents including police officers.

One of such attacks on policemen is the November 6, 2016 incident when a policeman from the Ughelli Area Command was shot dead at a roadblock along Agbarha-Otor Road following an assault on them by a gang of suspected armed robbers  apparently returning from an operation.

Perplexed by the incident, the late Ndababo, as the officer in charge of the command, was at the top of his game as he rallied round to ensure that officers and a female civilian who sustained life-threatening gunshot wounds, were promptly attended to by medics at the Ughelli Central Hospital where they were rushed to for medical attention.

ACP’s encounter with herdsmen

Two months after that incident, precisely January 23, 2017, Ndababo  took a bitter pill as a gang of  herdsmen engaged him and a team of policemen in a gun duel at Ohoro in Ughelli North Local Government Area when they went to implement an ultimatum by residents of the community issued to herdsmen to vacate the  community.

The locals had, days earlier, grounded vehicular movements at the Ohoro junction axis of the East-West Road for over six hours in protest  against  the  activities of herdsmen in their community with a vow that they would return to the road if the herdsmen did  not leave the community.

During the January 23 incident, one policeman was reportedly shot  in the leg as the cops  retreated following a fierce gun battle between the police and the herdsmen numbering over 10, according to an executive of  Ohoro  who accompanied the police team.

ACP’s futile revenge mission on herdsmen

Undeterred by the impudence of the herdsmen, Ndadabo remobilized 13 days, after the January 23 encounter, with over 60 policemen and invaded the hideout  of the herdsmen.

Giving details of what happened, an officer at the Ughelli Area Command, told Sunday Vanguard anonymously, “A gun duel ensued between the herdsmen and the police team. At the end of the incident, we could not account for two police officers and three rifles while the late ACP, who mysteriously slumped, was rescued from the scene of the incident and taken to a private clinic in Ughelli for medical attention.”

Though Ndanbabo denied the incident when contacted on the same day, the state Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim, while speaking on the incident, denied any casualty but hinted that the ACP was  “fatigued”, having ventured into a terrain they (policemen) were not familiar with.

Two days after the February 5 incident, locals in the area discovered the remains of one of the policemen while the decomposed remains of the second officer were discovered some days later.

Meanwhile, the assumption of office of a new Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ughelli, CSP Afokwalam Gabriel, witnessed  massive raids on flash points in the town amidst  show of force patrols as well as the establishment of  roadblocks for stop and search during the day and in the night

Criminals continue siege

Unfortunately, in what could be described as an attempt to dare the police, armed robbers and kidnappers continued to hold sway in  Ughelli metropolis, abducting residents for ransom at will while dispossessing people of  valuables and cash.

Though this is not the first time Ughelli would be recording an upsurge in criminality, but the last  straw that broke the camel’s back was the March 6 attack on the Commander  of the Ughelli Area Command and his subsequent death on Tuesday morning at a private hospital in Warri where he was undergoing treatment.

Security sources said the late  Ndanbabo  was shot twice by a gang of gunmen in a Toyota car who trailed him to the roundabout opposite the palace of the Ovie of Ughelli while driving in his Nissan SUV.

We have a strong lead – CP

It is in the light of this that the state Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim, relocated to Ughelli in a bid to not just find the killers of the late ACP, but to also curb the activities of  criminals who appeared to be  making Ughelli their safe heaven.

Also, a unit of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, made up of 57 personnel, has been deployed to  Ughelli and  environs in search of the killers of the ACP.

Speaking to Sunday Vanguard, the police boss said: “I have relocated to Ughelli and moved a SARS unit of about 57 personnel there. There is nothing for now and no arrest has been made. We have to be very discreet  but we have a very good lead, and, by the grace of God, we will apprehend the perpetrators.”

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