There was pandemonium yesterday inside the banking hall of a popular bank, located at Calabar Road, in the heart of Calabar, the Cross River State capital, following a fight that pitted a soldier against four riot policemen.
The incident occurred at about 11 am, causing confusion among the numerous customers who had gone to the bank to transact business.
The fight forced many customers to flee from the bank when, a policeman discharged a canister of tear-gas inside the banking hall filled with customers.
As some armed soldiers and armed policemen arrived, obviously on the invitation of their feuding colleagues, customers ran helter-skelter to avoid being caught in a possible crossfire.
The immediate cause of the fight between the lone soldier and the four policemen could not be ascertained, but a handful of men and staff of the bank intervened and stopped the fight.
When the fisticuffs ended, the soldier and some of the policemen had sustained injuries while the soldier’s uniform was torn.
The policemen, who were seething with anger, left the banking hall and waited outside while the soldier remained inside the hall.
Before long, some armed riot policemen and regular policemen drove-in in pickup trucks to the bank and demanded to see the soldier who was still holed up inside.
However, while the policemen were busy demanding to reach the soldier, a detachment of soldiers also arrived the bank in trucks; a development that led to sporadic shooting into the air, and scampering for safety by passers-by and onlookers.
But after wise counsel by the superior officers in both camps prevailed, some of the policemen and soldiers entered the banking hall to settle the rift.