Gunmen kill three travelers, shoot journalist

Armed men yesterday shot at a commercial vehicle carrying travellers and killed three occupants on the Katsina-Ala-Makurdi Road in Benue State.

The state reporter of Business Day newspaper, Benjamin Agesan, who was among occupants of the vehicle, was also shot.

Agesan cheated death but sustained serious gunshot wounds.

The vehicle was conveying passengers from Katsina-Ala to Makurdi at about 6a.m. when the gunmen, who suspected that the passengers were carrying huge sums of money, trailed them and opened fire on them around the River Dura bridge in Buruku Local Government Area. Three of the victims died while others were wounded.

It is about five kilometres from Katsina-Ala town.

A witness and close friend of the Business Day reporter, Mr. Jerry Iorngaem, said the incident occurred at Kilometre 5 on the ever-busy Katsina-Ala-Makurdi Expressway.

Iorngaem said the journalist, who was returning to Makurdi from Katsina-Ala, had boarded a bus but after seeing other friends in the one that was attacked, decided to join them.

The witness said the bus also carried local tax collectors who were carrying huge sums of money and were being trailed by the gunmen.

He said: “Shortly after take-off, the gunmen followed the vehicle to about five kilometres and shot sporadically at it. In the process, they punctured the bus tyres which caused it to summersault into the bush.”

Iorngaem said the gunmen ransacked the entire vehicle and killed three passengers carrying huge sums of money, leaving the reporter in a pool of blood.

Agesan, who was said to have been shot three times, at press time, was receiving treatment at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH).

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Sewuese Anene, said she was yet to receive the report.