A police officer attached to Moniya Divisional Police Headquarters in Ibadan was reportedly shot dead by hoodlums while chasing some suspected criminals in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the incident took place at Moniya Motor Park in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Adewale Osifeso, confirmed the incident in a statement issued on Monday in Ibadan.

Osifeso said that the operatives attached to Moniya Area Command, under Oyo State Police Command, while on lawful intelligence-led stop-and-search around a major black spot, were attacked in the line of duty on Monday at about 10.15 a.m.

He said that preliminary investigation showed that the patrol team, while acting on credible intelligence through visible policing duties, extended its presence to some black spots, highways and roads to deter criminal elements from settling and establishing dominance within the area.

Osifeso said that the team, led by one Insp Stanley Ikhine, flagged-down an ash-coloured Lexus 350 SUV, with a faintly inscribed worn-off number plate, thus further arousing suspicion from the officers on watch.

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“In the process, the vehicle initially slowed down in compliance with the directive before eventually picking up speed and dashing off to evade the officers on duty.

“This action led to a chase by the officers in a bid to establish further clarity of facts,” he said.

Osifeso said a few meters away from the initial stoppage point, the vehicle veered off the road to a nearby garage, driving directly into the waiting hands of hoodlums who were also collaborators in the criminal process.

He stated further that the hoodlums not only obstructed the officers from discharging their duties but also aided the escape of the SUV and its occupants.

“Consequent upon the above, the hoodlums attacked the officers unprovoked and attempted to forcefully drag a rifle from one of them, which led to a shot being discharged from the barrel during the process of the struggle.

“Sadly, the gallant officer paid the supreme price, suffering a heavy blow to his skull, inflicted by one of the hoodlums while preventing them from dispossessing him of his firearm,” he said.

The police spokesman said that the body of the deceased had been deposited at the state morgue for a post-mortem, while seven persons had been arrested and 12 motorcycles impounded in connection with the incident. (NAN)