A fierce clash broke out between police officers and soldiers from the Nigerian Army Cantonment, Nkwagu, near Abakaliki, on Saturday evening.

An eye witness, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the incident occurred at No. 1, Water Works road, Abakaliki.

“Trouble started when a police patrol team on road check requested for the identity cards and vehicle particulars of army officers from the Nkwagu military cantonment.

“The soldiers rode a tinted Toyota Camry car with registration number BWR 886 AE and a black Toyota Jeep with the inscription of ‘Bride’ used to convey a newly wedded couple.

“The soldiers, who were in their uniforms except one personnel, told the police team they were returning from a wedding and felt embarrassed by their request for the documents.

“At this point, one of the police officers stopped the soldiers from passing and the latter angrily fired sporadically into the air,” he said.

According to the witness, who is a security agent, the police officers called the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) on phone and immediately they stormed the scene, one of them slapped a soldier.

“The clash subsequently ensued and the police who had the upper hand, took some of the soldiers to the command’s headquarters while confiscating their rifles.

“The soldiers who escaped from the scene, rushed to the cantonment and on their way, allegedly attacked some policemen near the cantonment and held them hostage,” the security agent told NAN.

The eye witness also noted that one of the police officers held by the soldiers was released and he quickly rushed to the command to report that some officers were being held at the cantonment.

“This development almost affected the peace moves made by both security agencies but the situation eventually normalised following intervention by top echelon of both agencies,” the source added.

DSP George Okafor, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, confirmed the clash on Sunday in Abakaliki.

However, Okafor said that the matter had been resolved amicably.

The army authorities were yet to react to NAN enquiries or make public their reaction over the development.


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