DELTA STATE, NIGERIA – There was pandemonium in Ughelli, the administrative headquarters of Ughelli North Council Area of Delta State, as gunmen suspected to be hired assassins on Sunday attacked and shot an Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commander, Ughelli Area Police Command, ACP Usman Ndanbabo.
The incident, which The Punch learnt occurred on Sunday night at about 8pm while the victim was driving alone, had generated anxiety among residents of Ughelli and the neighbouring towns, as security has been beefed up in the area.
Ndanbabo, who was shot twice at close range, is now lying critical ill at an undisclosed hospital in Warri after some hospitals he had earlier been rushed to claimed they lacked the expertise to handle the injuries the gunmen inflicted on him.
A security source told our correspondent that the victim regained consciousness after doctors successfully carried out a surgery on him.
Criminal activities, including kidnapping within Ughelli and its environs, had been on the increase in recent times, although it was not clear what the intention of the hoodlums was.
One of our security sources said, “He (Ndanbabo) was returning home from an outing at about 8pm in his Nissan SUV when he noticed that a Toyota car had been trailing him.
“He tried fleeing from his car when he got to the roundabout opposite the palace of the Ovie of Ughelli along Isoko Road, only for his assailants to open fire on him, shooting him on the back and his stomach and left him for dead.”
This is the second time the Assistant Commissioner of Police was being attacked since he assumed office at the command.
He has also come under heavy attack by arms wielding Fulani herdsmen when he led over 60 policemen to raid a farmland being forcefully occupied by herdsmen at Ohoro community in Ughelli North.
The State Police Commissioner, CP Zanna Ibrahim, who rushed to the hospital where the injured senior police officer was currently receiving treatment on Monday confirmed the incident but added that it was not a life-threatening attack.
Ibrahim who spoke with our correspondent late Monday evening said, “I’m just leaving the hospital in Warri. He has been stabilised and it is not a life-threatening incident.
“Nobody has been arrested in connection with the attack. We are waiting until he recovers to give us hint. He was driving alone when the gunmen struck.
“The public should be more vigilant because it is very funny that someone will be shot in the heart of the town and the attackers escaped at about 8am. It was a busy hour and people were over everywhere.”