Proactive approach and measures put in place by the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has caused the arrest of 16 suspected criminals in the state within the past one week.
The suspects, now awaiting prosecution on the completion of investigations, were said to have committed crimes ranging from assassination attempt, baby theft, kidnapping and armed robber.
Briefing reporters in Uyo yesterday, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mutala Mani restated his commitment to ensure that at all kinds of crimes in state were nipped in the bud.
The state police boss, who was represented by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Cordelia Nwawe, said one of the suspects, a chief in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of the state, Chief Iboro Okon Okoyom, was being held for alleged attempt to charm and assassinate the paramount ruler of the area.
Chief Okoyom was said to have contacted some persons now at large to assassinate the paramount ruler, but was arrested with charm which he obtained from a native doctor to carry out his plot.
Okoyom, while fielding questions from newsmen, admitted approaching a native doctor in Ikono Local Government Area of the state to prepare charm for him, but denied any plan to assassinate his traditional ruler as there was no quarrel between them.
Also, a 30-year-old woman, Peace Chukwuemeka, a native of Mbano in Imo State, is cooling down at the Ikot Akpanabia police headquarters, Uyo, for stealing a one month and 10 days old baby, after drugging the mother, Fatima Ibrahim.
Mani explained that the suspect had travelled from Lagos to Akwa Ibom State and stayed with a friend in a compound at Mbak Itam village, in Itu Local Government Area of the state, where she committed the crime.
“The family unit of the state police command has been able to record another fit by bringing back a one month and 10 days old baby stolen from Akwa Ibom State.
“The woman has been married for the past 10 years but had no child. She left Lagos State to Akwa Ibom State and at the compound she stayed with friend at Mbak Itam where she stole the baby.
“On the fateful day of committing the crime, she drugged the mother of the baby and took the baby to the village in Imo State and hand over to the suspect’s mother,” the commissioner explained.
According to the police, the suspect was arrested when she returned to Akwa Ibom, leaving the baby behind, but the baby was recovered and handed over to the parents.
“The Igbo lady stole the child by making sure she got the mother drugged. We are telling mothers who have little children in the house to be careful with visitors around them, because at the slightest opportunity they can steal their children.”
Confessing, Chukwuemeka admitted to the crime, saying “I am here because I
stole a baby. I came to visit my friend. I have been married for 10 years without a baby; I did not drug the mother of the baby; I saw her deep in sleep that was why I used the opportunity to carry the baby.
“I took the baby to my mother in my village; I told her that the baby was mine; she now carried the baby and asked me to come with her to the village, but I refused because I wanted to go back to Akwa Ibom,” She said.
Similarly, a four-year-old child kidnapped in Ukanafun Local Government Area of the state has been rescued and handed over to the parents while a suspect, John Aniekan has been arrested.
The suspected, who claimed to be an Okada rider, said that he gained admission into federal polytechnic in Imo State without enough money to pay his fees, hence he was pushed into the kidnapping business.
“I don’t know the boy; I took the boy because I got admission into federal polytechnic in Imo State and I did not have anybody to help me. I have been riding Okada and the money I got from that was not enough for me to pay for my acceptance fee.
“My colleagues plan to kidnap the boy so that we can ask the father for a ransom of N200, 000 so that I can use it to pay for my admission,” he said.

READ ALSO  Benue seeks N10bn ecological fund