Benin - Four armed robbery suspects were on Tuesday morning shot dead in two separate encounters with the police in Benin.
The Commissioner of Police (CP) in Edo, Foluso Adebanjo, confirmed that 20 suspected armed robbers engaged the police in a shoot-out in the first encounter on the Benin/Lagos Bypass.
He said one of the robbers was killed in the process while a policeman sustained gunshot wound on his leg.
The CP said the other armed robbers escaped into the bush, some of them believed to be with bullet wounds.
"In the second encounter that occurred on the Benin/Auchi road, three members of a robbery gang, who had laid siege on the road, were gunned down by policemen.
Adebanjo also announced the arrest of members of a robbery gang who recently killed four policemen on the Benin Bypass.
The four policemen, deployed from Osun for election duty in Anambra, were said to have stopped at a road block mounted by the robbers.
"The policemen were attacked by the armed robbers."
One of the suspects, Muhammadu Umaru, 29, told newsmen that he participated in three robberies in Enugu State.
He said his shares were N5 000; N6 000 and N30 000.
The suspect, however, denied being part of the gang that killed the four policemen.
He said he joined a new robbery gang in Aduwawa area of Benin City.
"I don't know who killed police (men). We don't have real guns but carved guns which we use to block road", he said.
In all, 43 suspects were paraded in connection with robbery; unlawful possession of fire arms and cannabis, cultism, conspiracy and fraud, car snatching, murder and rape.
Among the suspects was one Augustine Obodeke, said to have impregnated his daughter twice and procured abortion for her.
Four other suspects were said to have conspired to defraud a man of N29.8 with an ATM card.