Pandemonium broke out in Oghior community, Udu local government area of Delta State when suspected oil bunkerers and security operatives drafted from Ovwian division engaged in a gun duel.
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that the suspected oil bunkerers chased the
local vigilantes from the community and later burnt their security post at Oghior junction .
The trouble reportedly started when the security operatives arrested a truck ladened with crude .
According to sources, “the arrested suspect led security operatives to the community and the hoodlums who had barricaded the entrance to the area engaged the police in a shootout.
“The security operatives were pinned down for over two hours before the arrival of the DPO from Ovwian Division who mobilised both the local vigilantes and his men to rescue the officers after a heavy gun battle.
“They were armed with sophisticated weapons during the gun duel and one of the suspected bunkerers was shot on his two legs before he was taken away by the police,”one of the sources said.
Narrating their ordeal, the chairman of the local vigilantes, Mr Wisdom Umukoro said, “Last Friday we were at our checkpoint when the DPO from Ovwian station came to mobilise us to the community.
“On our way, the boys armed with dangerous weapons engaged the police in a shootout and in the process, the arrested suspect who was in handcuffs escaped with the help of the hoodlums in the community.
“After the departure of the police, the hoodlums led by one Asharp attacked us, my son Favour Umukoro, 23, and our members were seriously beaten and injured. We could not do anything because they were armed. This is not the first time the hoodlums had a shootout with the military men. A few months ago, their bunkering camps and depot were destroyed.
“After their previous shootout with the military, they returned to the bush and continued their illegal bunkering activities before another shootout encounter with the police.
“At present, we have been chased out of our home and we are speaking to you from our hideout. Our property has been destroyed. When these boys are arrested, prominent leaders, chiefs and politicians would go and get them bail.
“When Asharp was arrested some time ago, a former commissioner went to the police station to secure his bail and this is the result of the bail. As we speak, the president-general of the community is on the run to evade arrest,” he said.
When contacted, the police public relations officer, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the incident.
He said, “We have two suspects and they will be charged to court soonest.”
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