The Rivers State Police Command has shot dead six suspected robbers and kidnappers in Ekpeye community in the Ahoada-East Local Government Area of the state.
It was learnt that among the deceased was one General Igbudu, who was reportedly the leader of a gang that attacked 14 passengers in the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, three weeks ago.
The hoodlums were said to have chased an 18-seater bus on Saturday at Ihuike in the Ahoada area of the East-West Road when policemen from the Ahoada Police Division were alerted.
It was learnt that the bus, which was travelling from Benin to Port Harcourt, somersaulted in the process, leaving three passengers dead.
The bandits, who were reportedly armed with several AK 47 rifles, opened fire after noticing a team of policemen coming after them during the incident that occurred at about 8.40pm.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, said the leader of the gang, General Igbudu, was responsible for many killings in the Ahoada community.
Omoni said, “On Saturday, at about 8.40pm, there was a distress call about an armed robbery act in the Ihuike area.
“The Ahoada division mobilised to the scene and the armed robbers, on sighting the police patrol van, opened fire on the police while an 18-seater bus heading to Port Harcourt from Benin was under attack.
“The driver lost control and the car somersaulted while three persons were feared dead. The rest of the passengers were rescued in the ensuing gun battle. The police overpowered the armed robbers, just as six of them were injured and died on their way to the hospital.”
He pointed out that the police recovered four AK 47 rifles, 30 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one Tokarev pistol and two military fez caps from the suspects.
One of the residents, Okorobia Okpage, said Igbudu and his gang killed over 300 people in Ahoada.
Okpage, who identified four of the six armed robbers’ corpses, identified them as Goodluck, Pedro, Emma and their leader, Igbudu.
He said, “For the past two years, the gang had been terrorising the community. They once came to my residence and shot two security operatives. They set an house ablaze.
“Four days ago, they caused oil spill in the area and insisted that the oil company (Total) must pay them N5m. They attacked the Royal Majesty’s (Eze Robinson) house. They killed over 300 people.”