…As police parade 100 for robbery, cultism, child trafficking
From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
It was the end of the road for a suspected armed robber and leader of a cult group, who had been on the wanted list of the police for five years, when he was shot dead in Anambra State last week.
The suspect, Chukwuezugo, alias Zion, who was shot by a rival cult group in Obosi, Idemili LGA, was among suspected criminals whose cases were announced during the parade of over 100 suspects arrested for armed robbery, child theft, cultism and human trafficking by the Anambra State Police Command yesterday.
Addressing journalists at the command headquarters in Amawbia, Commissioner of Police, Garba Baba Umar, said the deceased’s accomplice, Okagbue, alias Hajia, in whose shop he was murdered, had been arrested and was now assisting the police with information that could lead to the arrest of other accomplices.
Umar said the police got a distress call over gunshots and promptly dispatched policemen to the area, where it was discovered that the victim had been on the wanted list of the police since 2012 for armed robbery, cultism and drug peddling.
Giving a breakdown of the successes recorded under a short period, the CP said one Oluchi, 24, was arrested on July 8, 2017, for stealing a two-month-old baby, in connivance with her friend, Nchedochi, 26.
Umar said the duo sold the baby to a woman, popularly known as First Lady, now at large.
The CP disclosed that the suspect, in order to conceal her crime, reported to the police station under false pretence that she left her baby in the custody of a woman, who absconded with it.
He said exhibits recovered from the principal suspect included N250,000 cash and one motorcycle that the suspect allegedly bought with part of the money realised from the sale of the baby.
In the same period, the police attached to the Command Monitoring Unit, Awka, busted a child trafficking syndicate, which allegedly conspired and trafficked one Ifeanyi Odili, 10, for N300,000.
Members of the syndicate nabbed by the police included Rev. Raymond, 60, Angela, 42, Obinigwe, 56, and Jacob, 56.
Also paraded were Ogechukwu, 24, who was apprehended near Enamel bus stop, Okpoko, Awada, along the Onitsha-Owerri road during a robbery. He claimed that other members of his gang escaped.
The CP said the suspects, on sighting the police, opened fire and the police responded accordingly. One of the suspects, who sustained gunshot wounds on his leg, was arrested, while his accomplices escaped into the bush.
Exhibits recovered from the suspects include one cut-to-size single barrel gun, two live cartridges and charms.
Umar added that between June 26, 2017, and now, the command has responded promptly to distress calls at various locations across the state and foiled many robberies, which led to the arrest of 15 other suspects and over 40 suspected cult members.
The CP called on members of the public to refrain from covering their vehicle number plates, misuse of siren and destruction of billboards and posters of perceived political rivals by political thugs.
Meanwhile, Governor Willie Obiano has charged police officers in the state to discharge their duties with utmost dedication in order to maintain the status of the state as the safest in Nigeria.
Obiano gave the charge at the police headquarters when he made a surprise appearance when the police command received the mobile police squad from MOPOL 27, Katsina, which was on a working visit to the state. Obiano told the squad that the state, under his watch, had zero tolerance for cultism.