An armed robbery suspect, popularly called Ak 1, has been killed by the Operation Skolombo Special Task Force in Calabar, Cross River State.
The task force, comprising of the Army, Police, Navy, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, was set up by the Cross River State Government to mop up street urchins and contain criminal activities within Calabar.
The armed robbery suspect was shot in his upper abdomen at Bogobiri Area, Mary Slessor Road, Calabar.
Bogobiri area is a settlement of the Hausa/Fulani in Calabar where business activities, including exchange of foreign currencies, selling of cattle, fruit, yams and others take place.
An eyewitness, Alhaji Shehu Kabir, told News Agency of Nigeria on Monday that the suspect and his gang, now at large, had been terrorising and robbing businessmen and women at the area for a long period of time.
Kabir said: “On New Year day, ‘AK 1’ and his gang robbed one Alhaji in this area and collected some dollars from him.
“Youths around the area pursued them on that faithful day but they escaped narrowly through some corners.
“At the early hours of today, around 1am, this same guy and his gang tried to rob one of the biggest businessmen in this area.
“But unfortunately, luck ran out of them because the Operation Skolombo van was on patrol and residents were shouting for rescue.
“The Operation Skolombo security guys shot at them, two of his members escaped, while the bullet caught him right in his upper abdomen.”
Kabiru Usman, another businessman in the area, who said he witness the incident, told NAN that peace would now return in the area, saying that the gang had been terrorising the area using local pistols.
Confirming the incident, Captain Kayode Owolabi, the Public Relations officer of 13 Brigade Nigerian Army, Calabar, told NAN that the suspect belongs to a robbery gang of three members.
According to him, Operation Skolombo had received several complaints about the criminal activities of the gang at the Bogobiri area.
Owolabi said: “The suspect was shot by men of the Operation Skolombo while on patrol. He belongs to a three man robbery gang that used local pistols in terrorising businessmen at Bogobiri area.
“We have called the police to come over so that we can handover the corpse to them.”