Pandemonium on Monday evening enveloped Ughelli town and its environs as gunmen numbering five laid siege at the palace of Ughelli kingdom to kidnap the king’s wife.
The Queen 11 of the kingdom (Queen Rachael) narrowly escaped death after she was ambushed by a gang of gunmen in front of the palace along Isoko road in Ughelli, headquarters of Ughelli North local government area of Delta state.
A police orderly, Inspector Bello Chinye, attached to the palace also narrowly escaped death during the incident following gunshot wound he sustained on his right hand during the attack.
The Delta state police public relations officer, One Onowakpoyeya, confirmed the incident when contacted by Editor of Emerald News. She said “yes, there was an incident of such yesterday. But we were told it was attempted robbery not kidnap. However, irrespective of their intentions, they didn’t succeed.”
Another security source from the Ughelli Police Area Command, also debunked insinuations that the incident was a kidnap attempt, but a random armed robbery incident.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the wife of the monarch, Queen Rachel (Queen II), and her driver had gone to a new generation bank along Isoko road and were returning to the palace when they were accosted by the gunmen.
The source said: “From information made available to us, the gunmen whom were dressed in police camouflage cardigan, double-crossed the car conveying the queen and ordered the driver to open the door and come down.
“While the driver was questioning the gunmen what he might have done thinking they were policemen, a police inspector on guard at the palace came to the scene of the incident and tried to know what was going on.
“It was at this point that the gunmen upon sighting the policeman, opened fire on him and shot him on the hand. It was during the melee that ensued that the queen also ran into the palace for safety while the hoodlums also fled the scene.”
When contacted, the Ughelli monarch, HRM Wilson Ojakovo Oharisi III confirmed the incident saying the entire kingdom would have been in sorrow mood if not for the love of God for kingdom.
He said: “my police orderly was shot at the right hand during cross fire between the men of the underworld and the security operatives attached to the palace.”