It was a bloody day in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, southsouth Nigeria, as three persons, including a policeman weregunned down during a gun battle between policemen and robbers early in the morning.
Sources said the five armed robbers clutching AK47 rifles stormed the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, publishers of The Tide Newspapers at Mile One, Diobu, Port Harcourt, at about 1.12 a.m. holding the staff and at the printing press at gunpoint for over an hour while demanding for money.
Five of the staff suffered injuries in the hands of the robbers for their inability to provide cash for them.They were beaten blue black and robbed of their personal possessions.
A staff who was a victim of the robbery said: “four robbers came armed with AK 47 rifles and one of them holding a locally made pistol demanding for money. When we told them that we didn’t have money, they became infuriated and started beating us with the butt of their guns.”
However, policemen from the Divisional Police Headquarters Mile One, about 500 metres away stormed the scene and engaged the robbers in a gun battle that felled two of the robbery suspects.
The General Manager of the Tide Newspapers, Mr Celestine Ogolo confirmed the attack and stated that five of the staff on night shift were injured.
He said he got a distress call from his staff about at about 1.12 a.m.
“I immediately alerted the police through one of the police emergency numbers.The police quickly swung into action and arrived our premises.Two of the robbers were gunned down. Unfortunately, one of the mobile policemen was shot dead in our premises,” he said.
The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Mile One Police Station, Paddy Ogon, a Chief Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident.