The Rivers State Police Command said its men foiled an armed robbery operation at Prisigbara/Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic Road in Khana Local Government Area of the state and successfully neutralised three assailants.

The spokesperson for the state command, Grace Iringe-Koko, who disclosed this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Friday, said the incident occurred on Thursday.

Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, said operatives from the Bori Division and the Anti-Cultism Unit in Bori, both in Khana LG responded to a distress call on the robbery operation.

She added that on arrival at the scene, the robbers opened fire on the operatives, resulting in a shootout but the criminals were subdued and fatally wounded, saying one of those killed was a notorious armed robber nicknamed ‘Oyoyo’ aged 25 who had been involved in cult activities and armed robbery in the Ogoni axis of the state.

The statement read, “Rivers State Police Command thwarted robbery operation in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, on March 21, 2024, responded swiftly to a distress call reporting a robbery operation on Prisigbara/Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic Road in Khana Local Government Area.

“In a coordinated effort, officers from the Police Division, Bori, and the Anti-Cultism Unit, Bori, were dispatched to the scene.

“Upon the arrival of the police personnel, the robbers engaged them in gunfire. However, due to the superior firepower of the police, the assailants were subdued, and the robbery operation was successfully thwarted.

“Tragically, during the exchange, three of the suspects sustained injuries and were immediately rushed to the Police Clinic in Bori. Regrettably, their injuries proved fatal, and they were pronounced dead on arrival.”

It further read that “the deceased has been identified as Monday Sulole, a notorious armed robber and cultist, also known as “Oyoyo.” Sulole, aged 25 and hailing from Yeghe in Gokana Local Government Area, was responsible for numerous cult clashes and armed robberies in the Ogoni axis of Rivers State.

“As a result of the operation, the police recovered several items from the robbers, including one locally made revolver pistol, with three live ammunition, one locally-made shotgun with three cartridges, a machete, and several charms.

“We assure the community that the area has returned to normalcy, and we have implemented increased police patrols in and around the vicinity to ensure the safety of residents.

“The Rivers State Police Command acknowledges the concerns raised by the community regarding the harassment and robbery of students, particularly in the densely populated area. This successful operation is expected to bring much-needed relief to the community. We urge residents to continue cooperating with the police, as your support is instrumental in our ongoing efforts to maintain peace and security.”