The Federal Government has beefed up security in Afuze, headquarters of Owan East local government area of Edo state following the bombing of the Divisional Police Command in the locality by unknown gunmen.
Soldiers and other security operatives including anti-riot mobile policemen, officials of the Directorate of the State Service (DSS) and National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were drafted to Afuze as back up security in the area.
When our reporter visited Afuze, heavy security presence was seen in front of the police station. Ten patrol vans were stationed outside while a show of force was carried by a combined security team.
Hunters and vigilante groups in the locality were said to have been mobilised to trail the gunmen.
Four police officers, including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Ojo Kosenami and an expectant police officer, Sergeant Justina Aghomon, Inspector Sado Isaac and Corporal Glory David were killed in the attack.
Details of how they were killed have emerged as it was gathered that the gunmen asked them to remove their uniforms before killing them.
Sources said the gunmen locked the corpses in a room and left.
According to the source, “We thought everybody escaped until a policeman forced a locked door open and we saw their dead bodies.”
It was gathered that the attack took place a day after soldiers deployed to the area for election duties left.
Another source said the casualties would have been higher if the explosives thrown at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had exploded.
The source said many ad hoc staff were at the premises collecting their election allowances when the gunmen attacked.
At the residence of one of the victims, Inspector Sadoh, his children were seen setting up condolence register even as they demand justice for their father.
His second son, Pastor Louis, said their father was looking towards retirement.
Pastor Louis said their father worked hard to cater for them since their mother died four years ago.
He said his father stood for justice and peace and had uncovered many crimes in his career.
“My father loved Justice. He has unearthed many cases. The Police should also find his killers and prosecute them.”
Secretary to Owan East council, Mr. Godwin Imoudu, said an alert of an impending attack was raised before the election.
He said the entire people of the council were mourning the sad event, and described the late DPO as a quintessential police man who stood for peace and had worked tirelessly towards the peaceful coexistence of all segments of people of the council.
Imoudu recalled that the late DPO (Tosimani Ojo) who was a member of the council’s peace and security committee, “was very neutral during the just concluded elections“.