Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The leadership of the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) and the Bayelsa State Police Command have differed on the alleged killing of seven policemen of the state command.
The CLO had in a press conference said it had been briefed by relatives of the slain policemen and accused the police hierarchy of a conspiracy of silence over the recent killing of seven policemen attached to the command during a botched armed robbery operation in Ughelli, Delta State.
It had threatened a showdown and possible legal action against the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the police hierarchy over their continuous silence on the brutal killing.
But the Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa State, Nkereuwem Akpan, rose in defence of the Nigerian Police Force, declaring that no policeman is missing in the Bayelsa State Police Command.
Commissioner Akpan, who broke his silence during a parade of suspected armed robbers at the Command headquarters, Yenagoa, explained that the Bayelsa Police Command is taking stock of personnel under its command and participating in a joint investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the alleged police killing.
According to him, preliminary investigation indicated that there are no policemen missing from the command and no divisional head of police has complained of missing personnel in the command.
Akpan, who denied being aware of the allegation levelled against the police by CLO, assured that the investigation of the reported killing of the seven policemen in Delta State will not be swept under the rug.
‘The police are trying to put the facts together. I became aware recently and let me assure that the truth cannot be hidden. Like it happened in Delta State and not my command, the truth cannot be hidden. Nobody has come to me to say any personnel are missing. But we are still taking stock. None of our men is missing,’ the commissioner stated.
On the recent arrests of suspects in the state, Akpan confirmed the arrest of a car snatching syndicate that infiltrated Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, from neighbouring Imo and Ebonyi States to unlawfully sell stolen minibuses snatched from their owners.
‘Three suspects were arrested for the alleged snatching of three minibuses. The suspects are Chinemerem Emereonye, Edolor Ekiyoukekeme and Ogunkeye Ebenezer,’ the commissioner stated.