Some gunmen on Saturday torched the Police Criminal Investigation Department in Abia, causing panic and pandemonium in Umuahia, the state capital, and its environs.
The police spokesperson in the state, Godfrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident to reporters but said he did not have details of the incident.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the attack on the facility, situated on the busy Uzuakoli Road, occurred around 6pm.
The stampede started from the densely populated city centre, popularly called Isigate, when the news filtered to the area that the station had been set ablaze.
Billows of smoke were seen from the direction of the station, fueling fears among street traders, hawkers, shop owners, motorists, tricycle operators, passersby and residents of the area.
The ensuing commotion spread beyond the city centre to adjoining villages, causing abrupt closure of businesses as people scampered in different directions for safety.
Many commuters, who were stranded following the disappearance of commercial vehicles from the major roads, walked long distances to their destinations.
NAN reported that Umuahia recorded a similar commotion penultimate Friday, when a fatal robbery attack was rumoured to be an invasion of the town by bandits.
Two policemen were shot dead in the attack, while the armed men dispossessed their expatriate target of N3 million.
NAN reported that Saturday’s attack, which left the streets of Umuahia desolate, is coming barely 48 hours to the commencement of the sit-at-home order issued by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.
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