There was stampede at the Imo State Secretariat, along Port Harcourt Road Owerri, yesterday, as men suspected to be operatives of the Imo Stated owned Ebubeagu Security Network, engaged men of the Imo State police command in a sporadic gun battle.

It was reported that many unsuspecting workers who had reported at their duty posts, sustained various degrees of injuries, as they ran helter skelter for safety, to avoid bullets flying from different directions.

A source who witnessed the incident said, ‘’the problem was ignited when an operative of Ebubeagu Security Network ESN, was being harassed and bullied by a group of policemen stationed near the Attorney General’s office. As if on a tip off, other operatives of Ebubeagu suddenly appeared from nowhere and engaged the policemen in a gun battle. The shot sporadically in the air. Although, no one was shot.

This resulted in a serious stampede at the secretariat that led to some staff of the various ministries and departments sustaining injuries’’.

Another source who also does not want his name in print told our correspondent that the policemen accused ‘’the operatives of Ebubeagu of over-zealously crossing their limits and usurping the duties and responsibilities of the police command’’.

According to him, ‘’the genesis of the issue that later snowballed into a conflagration, was a minor argument that arose when a policeman accosted an operative of Ebubeagu of excessive use of power. The argument degenerated to a fight that culminated in the exchange of gun fire’’.

Meanwhile, the government of Imo State has described reports that unknown gunmen attacked workers at the state secretariat during office hours as false.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Oguwuike Nwachukwu, in a release said, that what actually happened was that the police were on the trail of a suspect in a case to effect his arrest for alleged crime when some gun shots were released in the air.

‘’There was no such incident involving unknown gunmen as it is currently being peddled at some quarters. It was an attempt to effect the person’s arrest that the police fired warning shots at the Secretariat.

“Members of the public are therefore advised to ignore any information linking the incident to unknown gunmen as there was nothing of such.”