Five injured gunmen undergoing treatment and a nurse treating them have been killed in mysterious circumstances in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Witnesses had alleged that the police shot dead the gunmen, but the police in Rivers had debunked the claim, saying the gunmen and the nurse were shot dead by another group of gunmen.
The four men were reportedly being treated by the nurse, identified simply as Chichi, in a secret clinic in the Oyigbo area when unidentified gunmen surrounded the building and opened fire on them during the weekend.
It was gathered that one of the gunmen put on a drip attempted to escape by scaling the fence but unknown to him, the area had been surrounded by the gunmen, who shot him dead.
The gunmen subsequently gained access to the building and killed three others receiving treatments and the nurse.
The victims were said to be among the gunmen, who recently murdered seven policemen in coordinated attacks on security formations along the East-West Road and Elimgbu Police Station.
A security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the bandits were trying to get medical treatments for multiple bullet injuries inflicted on them by the police when luck ran out on them.
He said, “Remember that recently gunmen, disguised as security operatives killed seven policemen when they attacked their formations along the East-West Road and the Elimgbu Police Station.
“During that attack, the police at Elimgbu engaged them in a gun battle. They sustained injuries and even abandoned their Hilux van. Those who were wounded ran to their hideout at Irebe side in Oyigbo and hired one Uchechi, a nurse, to treat them.
“They were tracked to their hideout. Three of them were already on drip. Sensing danger, one of the gunmen scaled the fence but was gunned down by the unknown gunmen.
“I can tell you that they are Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members. Five registration booklets of IPOB, many charms and some arms were recovered from them. You need to see their bodies, which were previously riddled by bullets. Though the bullets may not kill them because of their charms, the effects and the injuries will still show.”
The state Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Friday Eboka, when contacted, said the people who carried out the act were not policemen.
He said, “That matter was reported at Oyibo Police Station. The people involved are not policemen. We heard that four of them were taking treatment in a clinic before the unknown armed men went there with two Hilux vans and a Sienna.
“They went there and people heard gunshots. Before police could get there, the gunmen had entered their vehicle and driven away. The policemen met the bodies of the four guys and the young woman (nurse). I told the DPO to move those dead bodies while we investigate the matter.
“But, obviously, they are not policemen. If there must be an operation by police, it must be reported at the nearest police station. The people that carried out the act are not policemen. It was unknown armed men and not policemen.”