Our reporter| The general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Johnson Suleman has accused the police of cover-up in the investigation into the attack on his convoy.
The cleric was attacked on Friday evening by gunmen who opened fire on his convoy in the Auchi area of Edo state.
Seven people, including three police officers, were killed during the attack.
In a video posted on Twitter shortly after the attack, the police described the attackers as “kidnappers” while showing the suspect who was killed.
“One of the kidnappers that was caught today [Friday] while the DPO, CSP Ayodele Sulaiman, led the operation along Iyewe-Auchi Road, and after a gun battle, this one [suspect] was gunned down while others escaped with bullet wounds. Bush combing is ongoing,” the police said.
However, reacting to the tweet, Suleman debunked the claims, describing it as an attempt by the police to cover up traces that could lead to those behind the attack.
“Lies…there weren’t kidnappers… He was caught and handed over and the police killed him immediately. Why? Why killing him on the spot? Who is trying to cover up traces?” he tweeted.
The reaction from Suleman has forced the Edo state police command to order the withdrawal of Auchi DPO, Ayodele Suleiman.
In a statement on Saturday, Jennifer Iwegbu, the deputy police spokesperson, said Abutu Yaro, the Edo police commissioner, ordered the withdrawal of the DPO.
“As part of the measures of the command concerning the circumstances that led to the death of the surviving members of the monstrous gang that attacked the convoy of Apostle Johnson Suleman, the outgoing Commissioner of police AIG Abutu Yaro has ordered withdrawal of the DPO of Auchi for debriefing at the state headquarters with effect,” she said.
“Meanwhile, members of the public are urged to remain calm and patient as no stone would be left unturned to unearth the circumstances surrounding it.”