Tears of joy in Abia state as the police parades 24 criminals, including a 26 year old man who raped and killed a grand mother in Umuahia
By Stan Nwachukwu /Umuahia
The Police in Abia state penultimate week paraded suspected suspects alleged to have committed various crimes ranging from armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary, murder to rape among others. The large number of suspects paraded was an indication that criminals and kidnappers who were hitherto flushed out in the state in 2012 by operatives of the Joint Task Force, JTF, when hoodlums and criminals held the state hostage have staged a come back to the embattled state. The most horrifying aspect of the crime level as evidenced in the number of suspects paraded is the age of the suspects. Among the suspects was one Samuel Okorie, a 26, who joining others to rob and kill a 65-year old grand mother, Anthonia Dike after taking turns to rape her in a bush at Ofeme in Umuahia, Abia state. Okorie later escaped from police custody. Before Okorie was nabbed at Lokpaukwu in Umunneochi LGA, Abia state, his ancestral home, he hid under the cover of being a commercial motorcyclist and a law abiding citizen. But recent police revelations have proven that Okorie has been involved in armed robbery and rape operator to earn a living. Leye Oyebade, Commissioner of Police, Abia state while parading the hoodlums before newsmen penultimate week said the victim Anthonia Dike was returning from a business trip in Jos, plateau state aboard a bus alongside other occupants of the vehicle when Samuel and his gang members who rode on a motorbike trailed the bus from Okigwe, Imo state to Abia. The hoodlums finally struck at a point along the Ofeme community axis of the Enugu-Port-Harcourt expressway. Oyebade said the hoodlums reportedly blocked the bus, held the occupants hostage, including the driver before dragging their victims into a bush.
Inside the bush, the police Chief said, the hoodlums were said to have dispossessed their victims of their wares, money and other valueables. Not satisfied, the the criminals separated the male from the female victims and then had sex with them. For Mrs Dike, the suspects dragged the 65-year old grand mother into the bush, had sex with her in turns. According to the police boss, having satisfied their sexual urges the criminals were ready to go, but, one of them pulled out a gun, pointed it at her middle region nose and pulled the trigger. The woman died on the spot, the police boss stated.
But, Samuel who struggled to free himself from blame while answering questions from The Source denied involvement in the bizaar killing of the woman. He fingered his accomplices now at large as responsible for the evil act. “I am not the one that killed the woman, but, the two men that I carried on my bike. I am the operator of the motorbike that carried the dua though I cannot say I don’t know what they were doing, I only took them there and waited for them to complete their assignment. I did not follow them to rob or kill. The two men I carried, robbed, raped and killed the woman’’, he said.
Among others paraded were Ukachukwu Frankline Uzorchukwu, a female, Uba Agala and one Onyekachi Michael. The three gangs now being held at the police Criminal Investigative Department, Umuahia, Abia state allegedly robbed the residents of No 4 Okezie street by St Paul road Umungasi, Aba of their valuables and a Sienna car from where they where parked. The Sienna car with registration number, AFM 249 LU, the commissioner of police said belonged to one Tony Okoro Kalu residing at St. Paul Umungasi, Aba and has been recovered. He said the suspects will be arraigned in court while efforts is in top gear to arrest other fleeing suspects. Oyebade said working on intelligence reports received from Abayi police division, Arinze Ezeani and Samuel Precious Chidindu criminal gang who have been terrorising Aba residents were also nabbed. Exhibits recovered from the gang are: three eye glasses, one wrist watch, one black bag, one Army face cap, LNG Diary and one expanded cartridge. Last July, the area commander, Umuahia led officers and men of his command on a patrol. They received a distress call that a Toyota Highlander Jeep has been snatched from the owner at gun point along Finbarrs, road, Umuahia. The team, according to the commissioner of police, Oyebade, quickly responded to the distress call, picked-up the victim and proceeded on recovery mission. The efforts of the police later paid-off when the police caught up with the hoodlums at Agric Research Institute along Ikot-Ekpene road, Umuahia. The Source was informed that on sighting the police, the hoodlums opened fire on them. Three members of the gang were said to have sustained bullet wounds and were arrested during the gun battle but three of them however escaped. The items recovered from the criminals are: One Toyota Highlander with registration number, JJJ872 CX,, one black Mercedes Benze with registration number, AG467, NEM. One AK47 riffle with two magazine containing 31 rounds of live ammunition, one locally made revolver pistol with 4 rounds of of live ammunition, vehicle plate number, AB 457 RA, one wallet containing, 9,080.00 naira. In a similar development, the police in the zone following a tip-off recovered a black Toyota Highlander Jeep with registration number AKD 910 AS, stolen at gun point from one Mrs Onwuka along Finbarrs road, Umuhia.
The Abia state commissioner of police disclosed, police operatives arrested members of a deadly gang of armed robbers terrorizing Aba and its environs early October. According to the police chief, the gang on three occasions robbed a BET9JA BET Shop at no 21 Ogechi street, Aba. However, based on advice from the police, the owner of the shop put in place some proactive security measures to protect the shop. The development paid-off when the gang attacked the shop again leading to the arrest of one Joseph Umah, 23 years and Ifeanyi Chukwundukwe, 32. Other members of the gang arrested were Chijioke Akano Godwin, a notorious club criminal who receives stolen items. A laptop stolen from the said shop was recovered in his house after a search and he confessed to have bought it for 15,000 naira. Joseph Umah and Ifeanyi Chukwu ndukwe, first and second suspects, the police revealed were suspected members of the sgang who attached and killed two police officers at Ogbor-Hill Aba sometimes ago. One Chisom Sunday was also paraded by the police for robbing one Ukamaka Onyiabor, a female of her Techno-Mobile handset value at 30,000,00 at gun-point. During a search by the police, one locally made pistol and the stolen Tehno-phone were recovered from the miscreant.
In another development, operatives of Bende police Division working on intelligence rescued a pastor who was kidnapped recently in Owerri, capital, Imo state and kept in a house built in a bush at Amaokwe-Item, Bende LGA. The police were said to have swung into action and rescued the pastor, named Lewis Omerekpe who resides at plot 40, Egenamba street, Orji Owerri, Imo state capital after a distress call boy church members. One Emeka Nnata Uzoma and Kelechi Dike a notorious kidnap kingpins on the wanted list of the state police command were also arrested.
Oyabade, the police commissioner, said these achievements were recorded following adoption of proactive strategies aimed at achieving a robust synergy between the police and the public with the target of confidence building and earning the trust of citizens of Abia state.