Blood Pool in Ogba Zoo.
Details have emerged on how three policemen detailed to protect fun seekers at the Ogba Zoo and Nature Park were gunned down by five heavily armed men.
Arms and ammunition belonging to the policemen were collected while the Executive Director of the Zoo, Dr. Andy Ehanire was abducted
Andy is a brother to the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
Some eyewitnesses and workers of the Zoo who were present during the attack described the scene as horrible.
They said the policemen attempted to flee when the attackers opened fire on them and shot them severally at their back.
It was learnt that the attackers entered the Zoo as fun seekers at different times, bought drinks and opened conversion with the policemen while one of them also took time to talk with Dr. Ehanire.
Fun seekers at the zoo during the attack fled through the fence to scale the barb wire fence.
When our reporter visited the zoo, blood stains of the slain policemen were being washed away.
Speaking on the incident, a staff who gave her name as Helen Juchei said the assailants bought drinks for the policemen before the attack.
She said one of the assailants acted as informant.
According to her, “Yesterday after I finished my normal duty in the morning, people were just entering the zoo. And at this time, my boss has not come. We usually come before our boss and when he eventually came at about 1pm, it was now my turn to take over my duty, I went to tell him that I that I was having a birthday party to attend and that was how he granted me the permission and I left for the birthday hoping to come back to assume duty later in the day.
“When I eventually came back at about 6pm, I met three policemen lying dead on the ground. I was very shock and what I saw after was people running for safety and the boss taken away.
“It was those whom we met at the scene that told us what happened. They said the kidnappers paid to enter the zoo with a torn money which was rejected by the cashier at the gate.
“When the money was rejected, he went back to get a better money to pay the entrance fee.
“At this time, their informants have already gained entrance into the zoo as fun seekers.
“When the informants have finally studied the terrain, one of the informants decided to engage our director with conversation.
“Our boss started telling him his plans to put up a world tourism day and as one of them engaged my boss in a conversation, the other one went straight to the security personnel and asked him if they have not close for the day and decided to order for drink for the officers providing security for the zoo
“This was what those who were there told us. So they bought them Heineken and as they laid down their guns to drink, that was when the hoodlums opened fire on them and killed the three police officers.
“We have not heard any information about the whereabouts of our boss”, she narrated.
Another staff of the Zoo, Mr. Zontondji Emmanuel narrated that the hoodlums shot at the police officers without sparing any of them.
” I was on duty, I resumed by 5:30pm and as I came in, I went round to inspect the animals and the visitors on ground. And after having done that, I came back to the reception where the Executive Director was sitting down and there was another one sitting at this end. There were two policemen sitting by him. So I went outside to observe the outside.
“At the outside, I saw an Audi 80 Car parked and suddenly, I saw three men coming out with guns and one of them wearing a bullet proof vest and I thought that they were normal police who usually come here for normal security reasons.
“Suddenly, I saw them running into the zoo premises which are very unusual and when they entered, they started shooting immediately. So, all of us outside started running for our dear lives.
“And I was calling on people running to give us police numbers; nobody was ready to stop because they were all afraid.
“But at the time I watched from afar and I saw that the men were going out with my director. They went into the Audi Car and zoomed away. And I now came into the zoo premises and I saw the three policemen who were supposed to be guarding the director were lying dead on the ground.
“After that, the DPO now came to take the dead bodies away. Everything happened at about5:40pm,” Emmanuel said.
At the family residence of Dr. Ehanire, family members were seen to be shocked about the incident.
They refused comments and said what they needed at the moment was prayer for the deceased cops and the safe release of their family member.
State Police Commissioner, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, who visited the zoo for on the spot assessment said the killers of the three police officers were militants.
Gwandu vowed that the killers would soon be arrested.
“It was an unfortunate incidence. We lost three of our personnel. This is the activities of the militants because of the high sea now.
“They came and unfortunately killed our policemen but we are on the trail of the hoodlums. We are able to recover the vehicles they used to perpetrate the act. We are using all the available means including the high tech to fish out the perpetrators.
“They cannot go Scot free. Let me assure the general public in Edo State that we are on top of the situation and that they should go about their normal duty. All hands are on deck to ensure that the hoodlums are fished out”, he said.