The Police Command in Bayelsa said its operatives had shot and wounded a suspected cultist who later died in hospital, in response to a distress call on Christmas eve.
The spokesperson of the command, Asinim Butswat, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Yenagoa on Wednesday that the incident took place at Obele Area of Ovom in Yenagoa.
“On December 24 2017, at about 2100 hours, policemen responded to distress call of cult activities at Arieta lane, Yenagoa.
“The team of policemen responded swiftly and on sighting the police, the cultists opened fire on the team.
“In the ensuing gun battle, one Thankgod James Indoni, aged 23, a suspected cultist, was shot, he was subsequently arrested and taken to Federal Medical Centre for treatment where he later died.
“Efforts have been intensified to arrest his cohorts and bring them to book,” Mr. Butswat said.
He said that an earlier report that a policeman was shot and killed in error by a fellow policeman was false.
“Contrary to media reports that a policeman mistakenly shot a colleague, the command wants to categorically state that the report was false and misleading.”
Mr. Butswat said the command had worked tirelessly to ensure crime-free Christmas festivities across the state.
He also said that the command had intensified patrol and surveillance to provide peaceful atmosphere for residents to enjoy the holidays.
The spokesman urged the residents to continue with their lawful endeavours and support the police by providing timely and credible information on criminal activities.
“I also urge them to continue to enjoy the Christmas celebration and steer clear of every criminal activity,” he said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been corrected to reflect what transpired based on official police statement.