The Joint Task Force, JTF, made up of the police, the Nigerian military, civil defense corps and the Directorate of State Security, DSS, inaugurated by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel to tackle the issue of insecurity bedeviling some parts of the state, has suffered another set back as suspected cultists earlier today, at Essien Udim Iga Mine, unleashed mayhem on members of the security team.
The JTF acting on intelligence report, prepared to storm a suspected cultist camp. But on approaching the camp, they came under intense fire leading to the deaths of CSP Ajide Benedict of the O/C quick intervention unit, AP/no. 261789, Inspector Okon Effiong of anti-cultism unit and f/nos. 477614, Sergeant Ekerette Sunday of the compol surveillance.
Some of the members of the team are still missing in action. They are Ap/no. 149580 Assistant Superintendent of Police, Vitalis Ogueri of the anti-cultism unit; f/nos. 506948 Sergeant Samuel Bassey of the Quick Response Squad and 477652 Sergeant Ediong Tom of the anti robbery squad.
Ap/no. 158578 Assistant Superintendent of Police, Lane Victor of the Compol Surveillance; f/nos 477377 Sergeant Moses Ekpene, f/no 501382 SGT. Esin John, both of the quick response squad and f/no. 443391 SGT. Daniel Willie of the anti-cultism unit, all suffered various degrees of bullet injuries and are all currently on admission in a police hospital.
Other military and paramilitary casualties are yet to be unaccounted for.
Unfortunately, one assault rifle, one AK 47 rifle with live ammunition were carted away by the hoodlums including two hilux vehicles attached to the quick response squad were set ablaze.
The search for the missing personnel is still ongoing.
Just last month, suspected cult members, in the early hours of yesterday, attacked a checkpoint manned by officers attached to the Quick Response Squad at Ikpe Annang Junction in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, and killed two policemen.
It was gathered that the officers were burnt to death inside the police van by the hoodlums allegedly on a reprisal. hoodlums stormed the scene on motorcycles and attacked the officers with guns, forcing them to flee. Three rifles were stolen by the criminals during the attack.