Police Dismissed Sergeant For Aiding Escape of Suspected Ritualist

The Rivers State Police Command has dismissed a police sergeant, Johnbosco Okoroeze, for allegedly aiding the escape of a suspected ritual killer, Ifeanyi Dike, from the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt.

According to report the sergeant cried profusely saying he had no idea his innocent action would make the criminal disappear.

Okoroeze, who was the Investigating Police Officer, had removed the suspect’s handcuffs while he took his statements.

The victim’s father, Dr Ernest Nmezuwuba, who was also in the charge room at the time, had said he used candlelight while making his statements, adding that there was no power supply in the area.

The suspect was reported to have fled the SCIID under the cover of darkness and his whereabouts had remained unknown.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Zaki, had ordered the dismissal and arraignment of Okoroeze for criminal conspiracy.

Okoroeze, who was also arraigned by the police before a chief magistrate’s court on two counts bordering on obstruction of justice and conspiracy, was remanded in custody for the alleged offences.

Though the charges were not read to the accused, the Chief Magistrate, Sokari Andrew-Jaja, cautioned him  as he cried uncontrollably inside the court before his case was mentioned.

 

The charges read, “That you, Johnbosco Okoroeze, on August 19, 2017, at about 8.30pm at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did assist one Ifeanyi Dike, who is to your knowledge guilty of the offence of murder of one Chikamso Nmezuwuba, aged eight years, for rituals, to escape when he was to be detained for prosecution, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 322 of the Criminal Code Cap 37, Vol. II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

“That you, Johnbosco Okoroeze, on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid magisterial district, did conspire with a suspect, Ifeanyi Dike, and allowed him to escape from prosecution to prevent and defeat the course of justice, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 126 (1) of the Criminal Code Cap 37, Vol. II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.”

The chief magistrate observed that while the first charge could earn Okoroeze a life sentence if found guilty, the second charge could earn the dismissed police sergeant a seven-year jail term if found guilty.

 

Police Officer Opens Fire On Vehicle In Yobe

An unfortunate case of open fire of a police officer at a checkpoint in Yobe has led to the death of a 14-year old boy in Damaturu, Yobe State. The incidence was confirmed by the Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Abdulmalik Sunumani.

Sunumani, who described the incident as unfortunate, said the driver of the vehicle was trying to beat a police checkpoint with a smuggled Mercedes Benz car, prompting one of the policemen on duty to open fire on the vehicle, which was carrying the boy and his mother.

Sunumani said the driver picked the woman with her son in Kano on his way from Lagos to Maiduguri, adding that investigation into the matter is still ongoing.

“What happened was an unfortunate incident. From what my men told me, they got information from the last checkpoint that a Mercedes Benz car was coming without any registration number. When the car arrived at the checkpoint, he couldn’t stop and one of my men opened fire at the vehicle and a bullet hit the boy who was rushed to the hospital but later died. We have not concluded investigation but this is how much I can tell you,” he said.

 

Court Remands Killer Wife In Prison

A Magistrate’s Court in Osogbo, on Thursday remanded a 39-year-old housewife, Omotayo Salawudeen who connived with another accomplice, Oladapo Dolapo to kill her husband.

The police who brought Omotayo, alongside Dolapo, aged 24, to court, slammed them with two-count charges bothering on conspiracy and murder.

The charge sheet obtained in court reads partly, “That you Omotayo Salawudeen and Oladapo Dolapo on the 12th of May, 2017 at about 0300hours (3am) at 35, Adeniran street, Alleluyah Estate area, Osogbo did conspire together to commit felony to wit murder.”

“That you (accused persons) on the same date and time did unlawfully kill one Alhaji Akeem Salawudeen by covering his face with pillow and stabbed him severally with a knife on the chest to death.”

According to the Police Prosecutor, Mr.Felix Okafor, the alleged offence was contrary to Sections 324 and 316 and punishable under Section (319) of the criminal code cap 34 Vol.II, laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002.

The pleas of the accused persons, who did not have legal representation, were not taken because of the magnitude of their offence.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Fatimah Sodamade ordered that Omotayo and Dolapo be remanded in Ilesa prison custody pending their arraignment at High Court.

She adjourned the case till 4th of September for mention.

IGP Sacks Four Policemen Over Extortion, Bribery

The Inspector General Of Police, Ibrahim Idris on Sunday sacked four officers of the Ogun State Police Command over extortion and bribery.

The sacked officers are Inspr. Mufutau Olaosun, Sgt. Adebayo Temitope, Cpl. Bakare Taiwo and Cpl. Adesoye Ayokunlehin.

A statement from ACP Abayomi Shogunle, Assistant Commissioner Of Police, Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), Nigeria Police Force, Force Headquarters, said the police officers were charged, tried and found guilty in an Orderly Room conducted at the Area Command Headquarters, Ijebu-Ode for two offences against discipline as provided for in Paragraphs E (iii) Discreditable Conduct and C (ii) Corrupt Practice, under the First Schedule of Police Act and Regulations Cap. P19. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

 The statement said the IGP approved the dismissal of the officers, saying that there had been complaints through a petition to the police of how the officers forcefully collected money from someone who they accused of stealing a phone.

“On the 12th of June, 2017 the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) received a complaint via WhatsApp number 0805 700 0003. The complaint was immediately registered, Tracking Number PCRRU451591 issued and an investigation initiated. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Igbeba Division, Ijebu-Ode was mandated to commence an enquiry straight away.

“The policemen were identified and it was discovered that they apprehended the complainant on 7th June, 2017 without any reasonable cause and extorted the sum of N50,000 “Bail Money” despite the #BailisFree campaign before he was eventually released the same day.

“The extorted N50,000 was subsequently recovered from these unethical policemen who were armed in plain clothes on the day of the incident. Their action is contrary to the directives of the Inspector-General of Police and unacceptable. Necessary disciplinary measures were initiated against the erring policemen, they were found guilty as charged in an Orderly Room trial after the presentation of witnesses and exhibits.

“Punishment of dismissal from service was recommended by the Adjudicating Officer and proceedings reviewed by the relevant Nigeria Police Force (NPF) authorities. The punishment of dismissal from service has been upheld with immediate effect and all NPF uniforms and accoutrements including warrant cards (ID cards) issued to the men have been retrieved with all dismissal procedures completed,” the statement said.

It added that the complainant was also handed back his N50,000 with an apology a day after he lodged the complaint, adding that the elated man after receiving his money thanked the PCRRU, as he said: “Great job, you people are doing right there, thank you for the prompt response”.

“Furthermore, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, while reiterating his stand on zero tolerance for corruption, vows to “flush out those tarnishing police image” from the Force. The IGP also impress it upon the PCRRU to ensure that all allegations of professional misconduct against the police are promptly investigated and officers found wanting in any proven case be made to face appropriate sanctions as stipulated by relevant laws,” the statement said.

Two Arraigned For Being in Possession Of Criminal Charm, Indian Hemp

, By Israel Afolabi
Two persons, Adeleke Nurudeeen, 19 and Adeleke Lukman, 16 were arraigned on Wednesday before an Osogbo Magistrate Court presided over by Magistrate Adenike Olowolagba for being in possession of criminal charm and Indian hemp.
The police prosecutor, Sergeant Oladoye Joshua told the court that the accused committed the offence on 4th of July, 2017.
According to the charge sheet, Nurudeen and Lukman at Gbonmi area, Osogbo conspired to commit offence to wit, being in possession of criminal charm and there by committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 of Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol. II Laws of Osun state of Nigeria 2003.
It also stated that the two accused persons had in their possession without lawful and reasonable excuse, some charms which possess power to protect human being from gunshot and also to hinder the detection of crime and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 213 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol.II Laws of Osun state of Nigeria 2003.
The charge sheet  further stated that the suspects on the same date, time and place had in their possession some quantity of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 430 of Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol.II Laws of Osun state of Nigeria 2003.
The suspects who were arraigned on a three-count charge, pleaded guilty to third charge only, while pleaded not guilty to first and second charges.
Their counsels, Okobe Najite and Pray Ofoyeju pleaded to court to grant bail for the young man.
The presiding Magistrate in his ruling remanded the accused persons in police custody and asked them to bring their birth certificate to court for verification.
He adjourned the case till 7th of July for ruling on application.

Rethinking Internal Security By Alabi Williams

Ikorodu, Lagos has become a regular source of bad news. First, it was the story of riverine militias, who feasted on stolen petrol, courtesy of rusty and unmanned oil pipelines and infrastructure that transport fuel through the communities. For many years, these oil thieves built colonies around places like Arepo and Ibafo, down through the creeks of Ogun, Ondo, Delta and so on. They used the Ikorodu axis as hub to offload stolen fuel and it became booming business. But later, other dimensions of criminality, such as kidnapping were added.

Matters came to a head on June 23, 2016, when communities of Ishawo, Elepete, Muti, Magbon, Ereko, Igbo Olomu and Imushin, which are spread in Lagos and Ogun State, were ransacked in a vicious onslaught by mindless militias, as they were referred to, to the extent that between 20 and 50 persons were reported killed in one attack. A week before that, 15 were killed at Imushin. It became a weekly and weekend attack that left everyone wondering what governments of Lagos and Ogun were up to.

It became an embarrassment to the Federal Government, which was fighting too many ‘wars’ at different locations across the country. The military then promised to deal with the situation around Ikorodu and it was a successful exercise, and locations where oil bunkering thrived were pounded from air, while ground troops completed the mop up.

But of late, the dastardly stories coming from Ikorodu and adjunct communities make one wonder whether this is truly 21st century we are living through. Cult groups go about attacking families in the dead of night, leaving in their trail gory and mindless spectacle of parents and their children bludgeoned to death. The modus operandi of these killers is cannibalistic, fetish and horrendous. They do not come to steal anything, just to take life and in the cruelest form.

There was the case of the Ebhodaghes, a family of three hacked to death in April. The son was a WASSCE candidate in the recently concluded examination, but was not seen in class during one of the papers. Curious friends and neighbours traced him home, only to meet their dead bodies, so inhumanly mangled by elements said to be Badoo cult members.

One after the other, it became a pattern for these elements to visit mayhem on families. They even went to a church and killed some minors along with their mother who stole there, apparently to take refuge. But these daredevil man-eaters were not deterred by the solemnity of a worship place. They cudgeled their victims.

What really offended was the situation in which the Police never responded to ongoing attacks. They only come to pick remains of victims and no arrests and prosecutions are reported. Citizens also don’t get to hear of the profiling of these crimes to give information on intelligence and advisory. It was as if poor Nigerians are left on their own to battle these satanic monsters, who actually live in the neighbourhoods, or not too far away.

Then, the Lagos Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni on April 23, met with traditional rulers in these communities to warn them against harbouring criminals. He warned that the Police would no longer tolerate situations of killings without monarchs taking some level of responsibility. According to him: “Traditional rulers cannot tell me they don’t know who is who in their domain; all communities are advised to organise their local vigilantes.” He charged them to take ownership of crime fighting in their domains, as there are hunters among them. He warned that ritual killings must stop.

Did that call have effect on the security situation in Ikorodu and environs? Not exactly! As a matter of fact, some think the CP was compelled to visit the scene of crime more because on April 9, suspected militants in Isawo area killed four police officers, an army captain and a civilian. Other killings have taken place and the people have now resolved to police themselves, which was why a certain Badoo member who was apprehended by vigilante members was mobbed and set ablaze. It showed that the Police have not done enough to provide internal security; and it is the same thing happening all over the country. Police arrive late to scenes of crimes, most of the time. But if they are bent on unraveling the details, they produce good results.

A lot has been said and written about transforming the Police system to make the force more responsive and result oriented. Organisations such as CLEEN Foundation and networks like NOPRIN Foundation have produced enough literature on how to reform the Police. The current federal police are too far from the people to really understand crime fighting in peculiar situations.

When President Buhari came on board, to make a determined effort on the fight against Boko Haram, he put officers who know the terrain in charge. He moved the Command and Control (C2) of the military to Maiduguri, close to the war theatre, instead of what obtained in the previous efforts. It achieved a great deal. But what do we have here with the Police? We have Police Commissioners who deny outright that herdsmen are causing mayhem in communities, simply because they are involved on account of their religion or state of origin. They are unable to deliver according to the oath they sworn to; to provide security without any form of bias.

Now, what is very challenging is the situation of students who are abducted from their campuses by kidnappers and used to steal money from their parents. For 17 days running, six students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, were abducted from their school by criminal elements. The idea of students being picked up in their schools is disgusting. It is frightening and sickening that this particular school is a state owned school, of a middle class status that should not be linked with such anguish. But that is what we have on our hands. Everybody, including government and the security agencies is helpless. Now, we are told some of these children have taken sorely ill, no thanks to the miserable environments where they are kept. The parents are in terrible states. Just imagine waking up for all these days not knowing what is happening to these young ones, in some deadly creeks. It is hard to bear.

All this means that even if Lagos State or any other state for that matter invests their entire budgets on security infrastructure, rural areas in Ikorodu and elsewhere might continue to be dens for hardened criminals. Therefore, we must decentralise the present system. The CP must also be ready to move around as the occasion demands. For instance, Owoseni ought to have relocated to Ikorodu since the beginning of this year. His recent admonition to his men shows that he is far removed from the various theatres of ‘war’ in the state. Area commanders and DPOs who have since abandoned their oath to chase after illicit wealth are frustrating his good efforts and intentions.

Iwo Robbery: Osun Promises Justice

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has that those responsible for the robbery which claimed the lives of four gallant police officers in Iwo, will not escape justice.

The Governor, in a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, described the incident as unfortunate, noting that the state remains unbowed by the audacity of these criminals.

The governor said he has been assured that security men are on the trail of those who invaded the banks and they will not abandon it responsibilities as the protector of the people just because of some criminal few.

While assuring the general public of their safety and security, Aregbesola noted that it was not for nothing that the state is rated one of the most crime-free in the country, vowing to maintain this record no matter the odds.

The Governor also commiserate with the Commissioner of Police, Osun State command for the loss of his gallant officers in the service to fatherland.

He sent messages also to those who were caught wounded in the cross fire while the pandemonium lasted.

The statement read, “On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, some misguided elements violated the peace in Iwo, one of our major cities in the State of Osun; attacking banks located near the Bowen University.

“These armed robbers ended the lives of four promising men of the Nigerian Police Force who attempted to stand up to them. They left sorrow and tears in their trail.

“We commiserate with the Commissioner of Police, the entire Osun Command of the Nigerian Police Force and the families of the fallen heroes, who fought gallantly but sacrificed their lives in the course of performing their duties.

“We equally commiserate with those who were caught and wounded in the cross fires.

“We assure the generality of our people that these criminals will not escape justice. Recent history of our state confirms that no criminal violates our peace and goes away with it.

“We are confident that security men are on the trail of these misguided elements and and in due course, will be brought to justice.

“We use this opportunity to assure the people of Osun of their safety. We invested in security of lives and property as part of our overall objectives of maintaining a peaceful state to be a source of attraction for investments.

“This is why our state has been rated many times as one of the states with the lowest cases of crime throughout Nigeria.

“We are determined to do everything to sustain this rating. Our citizens are therefore urged to be vigilant; report any suspicious movement and activities to the law enforcement agencies.”

Police Arrest Five Suspected Militants

Attempts by suspected militants to attack several commercial banks in Lagos have been foiled by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

This is just as four suspected members of notorious kidnapper, America’s gang and a guard attached to one of the banks have been arrested at the Ajah and Ikorodu areas of the state.

The banks targeted, the police said were Zenith and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) in Lekki, as well as FCMB, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) and Keystone Banks in Ajah.

It was gathered that the gang was behind last Thursday’s kidnap of six pupils of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla.

According to the police, Abiodun Olaroye (Gbeleju), 38, Ebipatgh Tuwei (Segun), 47, Benjamin Powei (Ben), 42, Samuel Chinedu (Hitman), 30, and Samuel Innocent Ikechukwu (IK), 33, were arrested on May 30.

While Olaroye, a native of Ode Kreme village, Tuwei and Powei of Arogbo, Ondo State, Chinedu was said to be an indigene of Delta State and Ikechukwu, the guard, was said to be from Abia.It was gathered that the suspects were picked up following credible intelligence and they confessed that plans have been perfected by the gang to attack five banks in the state.

The police said Puwei confessed to have participated in the ambush that killed four policemen and an Army Captain. Their arrest, the police said, followed days of unrelenting tracking by the IRT.

The four militants were said to have been sent by America from the creek to survey the banks and hire two operational buses that would be used to convey the criminals to and fro the river banks in the course of the attack.

It was gathered that the banks were marked because of their proximity to river banks.” All suspects arrested confessed to the planned bank robberies and confirmed that they were sent by their boss in the creek, America, to survey the five banks together with the guard who tipped the militants off. ”

They also said America fixed Wednesday June 1, for the attack, but his boys were arrested before then. The suspects are cooperating with detectives in the Investigation. Serious efforts to arrest the gang leader, other members and rescue the school children in progress.

Nation

Director To Investigate Clash Incidence Between Navy and Police in Calabar.

The Director of Information, Nigerian Navy (NN), Navy Captain Suleman Dahun, on Wednesday, said the investigation was ongoing to unravel the cause of the ugly incidence between the Navy and Police in Calabar.

He said that, however, normalcy had since returned to Calabar after its personnel clashed with the Police on Tuesday,

Speaking to one of the eyewitnesses who said it was an unfortunate incidence that led to the loss of lives and destruction of property.He said that the service would do everything humanly possible to avert the future occurrence of such ugly clash.

Dahun told our reporters that everything had been resolved, and normalcy had also returned, saying “everybody was going about his or her business as usual.”

It should be recalled that the clash between the two security outfits was caused by a disagreement between a police traffic officer and a naval officer at a traffic light in Akim neighbourhood, downtown, Calabar, around 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

“By 8 p.m., it had developed into a deadly riot, with suspected naval officers attacking a police divisional headquarters, killing three officers and injuring others after setting the facility alight.

“A naval officer sustained gunshot wounds from suspected police fire. No inmates escaped during fracas,’’ police said.

 

Police Station Attacked By Naval Officers In Calabar

Several police officers were killed on Tuesday night after suspected officials of the Nigerian Navy stormed a police division in Calabar, southern Nigeria. According to news reports the attack, which began shortly after 8:30 p.m., was still underway as at 10:19 p.m. at Akim Divisional Headquarters.

“The police station is still burning as we speak,” a horrified witness said

Naval spokesperson, Suleiman Dahun, said he wasn’t aware of the development as at 10:26 p.m., promising to revert after his findings.

Sources said the unrest was a continuation of an initial skirmish between a police traffic officer and a naval officer at a traffic light near the Calabar Stadium along the Airport Road on Tuesday afternoon.

“Some naval officers ran the red light and police traffic officers intervened, but rather than listen, they descended on the policemen and beat them up,” a witness said. “This was around 5 p.m.”

“Police officers now called for backup and the Navy also called for reinforcement and they took over the road leading to the airport.

 “But the Navy Commander and police commissioner in the state intervened and the two sides backed down,” the witness said.

“However, around 8:00 p.m., when everyone thought the matter had been resolved, naval officers descended on Akim Police Station and started shooting and burnt down the facility.

“We confirmed three bodies but we feared there are more,” the witness said.

The witness also accused the naval officers of blocking firefighters from extinguishing the inferno set at the police station.

Police Kill 5 Suspected Killers Of ACP Ndanbobo In Gun Battle

Five members of an armed robbery/kidnap syndicate have been shot dead by Operatives of the State Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Squad, SAKCCS, Delta Command. The alledged criminals are suspected to have killed the Area Commander, Ughelli, ACP Usman Ndanbobo, in a gun battle.

Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, who relocated to Ughelli with operatives of State Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, to track down the bandits, confirmed the killing to newsmen on Friday, just as fresh facts emerged on why the bandits shot dead Ndanbobo.

 

In a related development, four members of a robbery gang, mainly Fulani natives, who laid siege to the Olomoro-Iyede road in Isoko area of the state, during the week, robbing travellers have lost their lives. Saturday Vanguard learned that SAKCSS operatives, led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, had as a follow up to the kidnap cases that led to the arrest of a kidnap kingpin, Lucky and two others, seized three other gang members within the Ebrumede/Ughelli axis on May 10.

 

The team, however, ran into an ambush when other members of the gang attacked the operatives, following which five of the suspects received gunshot injuries, but were later confirmed dead by a doctor at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, where they were rushed for treatment. Commissioner Ibrahim disclosed: “The suspects have complicity in most robbery attacks/kidnappings within Ughelli and environs, including the attack that led to the death of the Area Commander, Ughelli, ACP Usman Ndanbabo and yet to be seen late DSP German Emmanuel, who was declared missing September 2016.”

 

He said the suspects confessed that they shot the officer (Ndanbabo), who they waylaid at Ughelli because he took to flight with the keys of his Toyota Camry car with registration number, EKP 05 AAX, which they attempted robbing. One of the escapee robbers, Ratty, later abandoned the car now recovered by the police. Ibrahim told our reporter: “Serious operations are in progress to arrest other fleeing members.” On the bandits that barricaded Olomoro-Iyede road, he said: “A patrol team attached to Oleh Division, led by Superintendent of Police and vigilante men in the area rushed to the scene and on sighting the team, the robbers fled into the bush.”

 

“They were trailed into the deep bush, they shot at the team, which replied fire for fire and on combing the bush, one Umoru M, alias Yellow, Usman Abdullahi, Bello Mohammed, all of Fulani extraction were rounded up with bullet injuries and five live cartridges, six assorted phones, wallet containing identity card, ATM card, industrial boot belonging to the robbery victims,” he stated. Ibrahim said the injured suspects were rushed to the hospital for medical attention, where they were certified dead, adding that their remains would be handed over to the local government health officer for disposal after autopsy.