From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army through Operation Akpakwu has arrested a Benin national, village head and two others for alleged robbery in Calabar.
While one of the suspects, Felix Helekpa, 23, a Benin national, was arrested at Afokang Correction Service Centre in Calabar South with a locally made pistol, one x cartridge, others including one Okon Essien, 45, Village Head of Obufa Obio in Okoho Nakwa Clan, Akani Esuk Clan in Calabar south and one Blessing Effiom, 22, as well as James Edet Okon, 26, were arrested at different locations.
Speaking while handing over the suspects to police, Major SN Ikpeme, who stood in for the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General MA Abdullahi, said the suspects are being handed over to the police for further investigations.
He said during the preliminary investigation the first suspect, Felix Helekpa, ‘confessed to having participated in several armed robbery operations around Calabar South, while Blessing Effiom is a suspected informant.
‘Similarly, preliminary investigations revealed that Okon Essien’s two sons, Victor Okon and Offiong Okon, who usually carry out kidnapping are at large while James Edet Okon had been dispossessing members of the community of their valuables,’ he said.
One of the suspects, Felix Helekpa, said he is from the Benin Republic and was invited to Calabar by his long time friend.
‘I am from the Benin Republic; since I am staying in Iwuru, I got a call from my long time friend who asked me to follow him to a birthday party.
‘I told him I will not come because of the curfew but he told me not to worry and gave me the charms.
‘I saw him folding his t-shirt which he gave me to keep for him and I saw a gun inside. He said I should hold it and it was not up to a minute when the army came around and arrested me while he fled,’ he said.