Top military sources have informed Trail Reporters exclusively, the account of what transpired in Calabar, which led to the fight between the Navy and the Police.
Sources say, the incident occurred opposite the naval barracks, which was a case of police brutality, where the men of the Nigerian Police were bullying a vendor who supplies goods using a lorry-back tricycle.
An eye witness said, they slapped the vendor who couldn’t bear it anymore and choose to retaliate with a slap too, they descended heavily on him and gave him the beating of his life while shooting in the air intermittently, until a naval rating came to the rescue of the vendor.
We also gathered that the police wouldn’t have it, so they engaged the naval rating in a fisticuff and seeing that the naval rating was having the upper hand, a policemanshot in the air, an effort that didn’t deter the Rating, till the police shot the Rating in the shoulder.
The ratings on guard duty at the navy barracks gate, took a swipe at the policemen, beat them up and drag them off to their barracks.
The police station within proximity got wind of the incident and mobilized for a fight, barricaded a side of the road and a gun duel ensued between both parties.
Senior naval officer, clad in all white uniform arrived the scene, ordered his men to stand down, approached the police side to pacify them, but was met with a very hostile police handling.
The Naval officer was ordered back amidst being pushed severally with gun shots in the air and threats to being shot if he doesn’t retreat by a SARS operative even after the Naval officer intimated him of being his superior by rank equivalence.
This is where the peace opening was lost and the Naval officer retreated, where iron met iron, the police dissipated when one iron became sharper.
The burning down of the police station and deaths later occurred at Night.
At the time of this report, efforts were on, to prevent future occurrences of such ugly incident.