No fewer than 15 persons, including a pregnant woman, sustained various degree of injuries on Friday evening during a clash between men of the Nigerian Army and operatives of the Oba Market Police Station in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
During the clash, residents and shops owners scampered for safety, as tear gas canisters and several shots were fired when soldiers in over 10 Hilux vans invaded the police station.
The stampede that ensued following the invasion by the military operatives and from inhaling tear gas led to the injuries sustained by the people.
While the invasion lasted, policemen in the station reportedly locked themselves inside the station while business owners locked their shops to prevent looting.
It was gathered that trouble started when 10 policemen allegedly beat two soldiers to stupor at the traffic light by Ibiwe Junction, opposite the Oba Market, in retaliation for the soldiers’ beating up of a female traffic warden who did not allow them to pass through despite heavy traffic.
One of the soldiers was said to have repeatedly slapped the woman until policemen intervened and it resulted to a free for all.
The policemen were said to have dragged the soldiers to the police station and detained them.
It was learnt that a soldier who witnessed the beating called his colleagues and soldiers in 10 Hilux vans stormed the police station.
When contacted, Spokesman for the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Joseph Unuakhalu, said he was yet to be briefed and promised to call back after getting details.