Over 10 persons were feared killed and several others injured when naval personnel and police men clashed in Calabar, Cross River State Akim Police Station opposite a military Barracks.
A policeman, who escaped death by the whiskers, told Daily Sun that the police station, including the armoury, was completely razed.
He said trouble started on Tuesday afternoon when a police traffic warden stopped a naval officer who got angry and ordered his boy to beat him.
He said: “As the naval personal were battering the traffic officer, a Deputy Superintendent of Police who was passing by tried to settle the dispute, but the naval personnel descended on him as well.
“A senior police officer contacted the commander in charge of the unit. We thought the matter was over until around 8pm when some naval personnel stormed Akim Police Station and started shooting at officers and visitors at the station.
“The naval personnel did not stop at shooting at people, they set the police station, including the armoury and suspects in the cell ablaze.
“Over 10 persons were killed. I know of three policemen who were confirmed dead. Many suspects in the cell died in the inferno. I narrowly escaped death. Few of us who took to our heels survived but many others sustained injuries of varying degrees. A witness, John Bolus said:
“It was like a war-torn zone. I thought it was another civil war. I was hearing the cacophony of gun shots and I took to my heels. I think the government should do something about it. The Navy should submit to the constitution.”
When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said he had not been briefed.
Meanwhile, the naval authorities said on Tuesday night that only one person was shot.
According to the Navy, it was a minor incident involving a naval officer and a policeman, which was later resolved.