By Jethro Ibileke
The end of the year 2020 and the new year celebration turned sour for some families in Benin City, the Edo state capital, following the killing of a motor mechanic and a commercial bus driver.
In the first incident, a Volkswagen mechanic, identified as Emmanuel Michael, was shot dead on Wednesday, at about 6 pm, while working at his workshop, located at Osasogie street, off Oguola/Artilerry road.
The gun-wielding men were said to have stormed the mechanic workshop, shot sporadically into the air to scare off resistance, before firing their target at close range.
A witness said upon noticing that he was their target, the assailants immediately went straight for him, fired several gunshots into his head, killing him on the spot.
The gunmen later went berserk, as they were said to have engaged in a manhunt looking for more persons to kill in the area.
The situation forced the residents to flee the area while owners of shops quickly locked up and fled.
It took the intervention of the Edo State Joint Security Team to restore normalcy to the area.
In the other incident, a yet-to-be-identified commercial bus driver was on Friday shot dead by gunmen who disguised as passengers.
The driver who plied the Sapele Road route was said to have met his death in the hands of his assailants at Siluko Road, by Oliha market.
The gunmen who entered the bus at the popular Ring Road, allegedly diverted the driver at gunpoint, from his normal Sapele road route, to the Siluko road axix of the metropolis.
It was gathered that immediately they passed Oliha Market, by former Ovator Cinema house at Siluko road, the hoodlums used a battle axe on the driver, before he was finally shot dead.
A passerby who did not give his name, alleged that he saw the commercial bus zoomed pass with its full headlights on and some persons dragging the steering wheel with him.
He added that they suddenly heard gunshots which scared them and they scampered for safety.
“A moment after, the young boys came out of the bus and entered another vehicle and fled the scene, leaving their victim in the pool of his own blood,” he said.
Meanwhile, a three-man robbery gang said to have been on the police wanted list has been smashed by the police in Benin.
It was gathered that the suspects, Junior Ojo, Destiny Etu and Itose Osayande, belonged to an alleged gang of armed robbers terrorising Abehe, Lagos street, Ibiwe, Aragua, Iwehen, Wire road and environs.
It was filurther gathered that people returning from church along Mission road have lost their mobile phones, money and other personal items at gun points to the suspects.
The Edo state police public relations officer, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the police are now in various strategic locations in Benin city and environs.