From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
PALPABLE fear has enveloped the Nguru Umuaro community in Ngor Okpala council area of Imo State over the alleged release from detention a suspected kidnap kingpin by the Imo State Police Command.
Six suspects had earlier been arrested following the kidnap of President-General of Nguru Umuaro community, Chief Reginald Amadi.
The kidnapped victim had identified three of the suspects when the police paraded them.
According to a source from the community, “Our community on suspecting foul play among the men of the Police handling the matter sent a strong delegation of community leaders led by our traditional ruler, Eze A. Unanka to the commissioner of Police and appealed for diligent investigation and prosecution of all identified suspects to rid our community of criminals.”
The source said the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu had applauded the delegation for their determination in fighting crime in their community and had assured them of a thorough investigation of the matter.
However, to their shock two days after the meeting, the three suspects earlier identified by the victim as his abductors were released.
Chief Reginald Amadi, the victim who slammed the police for the hasty release of the identified suspects, noted that the action of the police had caused anxiety in the community as well as put the security of the community leaders at risk.
According to him, “Among the three, most shocking is the release of one of the suspects from Elelem community in Ngor Okpala LGA, a notorious kidnap suspect who I identified during the suspects’ parade. For five days, they held me in a location at Elelem where the suspect comes from.”
He recalled that another suspect arrested in Lagos mentioned the name of associates to this notorious kidnapper.
Chief Casmir Anyanwu,
Secretary of the town union regretted that the police by their actions had exposed the entire community to a potent security risk in the hands of criminals.
But when contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem (DSP), said that only one person confessed to the crime and did not indict the others. He further stated that it was not the practice of the police to release kidnap suspects as it was a serious crime.