There is a new campaign by security agencies in Ebonyi State to make the state uncomfortable for criminal activities, reports SAMSON NWAFOR, our Correspondent in Abakaliki
EBONYI State Police Command like other states of the federation recently had a change of guard as CP Maigari Dikko was replaced by CP Peace Ibekwe Abdallah. This followed the recent redeployment of commissioners of police by the Inspector General of Police. CP Abdallah, while taking over the affairs of the Command stressed her commitment towards ridding the Ebonyi State of crimes and criminality. The new CP assured that the police would sustain its fight against criminality in different parts of the state.
Abdallah who also stated that she had been briefed by the outgone police commissioner, Maigari Dikko on the peculiarities surrounding the state, especially as it concerned communities within the 13 local government areas of the state assured the people of the state that her administration would ensure sufficient police presence in the fight against crimes of different magnitude.
She has promised to reposition the minds of the men and officers of the command toward being proactive and to shun every act of corruption in the discharge of their statutory assignment to the people of the state.
The state Commissioner of Police who was transferred from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, in charge of IGP’s Monitoring Unit advised policemen in the state to shun extortion and other forms of illegality as her administration would sanction any officer found culpable of such misdemeanor.
Since Abdallah emerged the state new CP, security of lives and property have improved tremendously and the command has made a lot of breakthroughs in combating crimes in the state. The residents now go about their lawful business without fear and sleep with their two eyes closed because the presence of the new CP is already being felt by everybody, including men of the underworld.
The kidnap of a medical doctor, Dr. Johnson Obuna, in his private hospital at Aguogboriga Estate in Abakaliki was the first litmus test for Abdallah’s new office as it came barely few days he assumed duty.
The doctor who is a pastor with Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria is an obstetrician gynecologist with the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen when he was about leaving his hospital after the day’s work around 9pm of the fateful day.
In a statement, Ebonyi State police command under the new CP assured the general public that the medical doctor would soon be released as the command was on top of the situation. But the operatives of the Command through coordinated manhunt against the kidnappers were able to free the kidnapped doctor and he has since reunited with his family.
Impressed by the quick response of CP Abdallah, members of the Ebonyi State medical association commended her doggedness and commitment towards the release of the medical doctor as she has already visited the victim’s family and deployed officers of the command toward the task of hunting down the kidnappers leading to the release of the victim without delay.
They praised the present leadership of the command for rising to the occasion in the discharge of its statutory obligation to the people of the state. Also, CP Abdallah was able to stop the planned protest by commercial motorcycle riders in the state over alleged extortion and illegal confiscation of their motorcycles. Addressing the angry commercial motorcycle riders, the CP pleaded with them to shelve the protest and promised to address the issue to end the alleged extortion just as she promised to release their motorcycles to them.
She assured that under her watch, the men and officers of the command would at all times respect the rights of citizens while carrying out their statutory duties.
As if the new CP was on trial, especially regarding activities of criminal elements in the state, a second kidnap case was recorded few days later precisely on September 11, 2015 when the Afikpo zonal manager of Nigerian Breweries Limited, NBL, Mr. Kehinde Baruwa, was kidnapped by hoodlums.
Baruwa was kidnapped at about 2:49pm at the entrance to his street, off Ndibe Beach Road, Afikpo North Local Government area of Ebonyi State.
But the new CP and her officers and men swung into action and two days later, swooped on the den of the kidnappers and arrested three (3) suspects and in the process, freed the victim who was held captive for days in far away Abia State. The suspected kidnappers were identified as Gabriel Ibiam Otta ‘M’ of Afikpo LGA of Ebonyi; Tochukwu Okezie ‘M’ of Ubakala Umuahia in Abia and Emeka Samson ‘M’ who also hails from Ubakala in Umuahia of Abia State.
Parading the suspects, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Peace Ibekwe Abdallah told journalists that the kidnappers made contact to Baruwa’s wife two days after he was kidnapped and the kidnappers demanded for N50 million ransom.
She said in the course of negotiation, the kidnappers brought the amount down to N300,000 but at the point of collection of the ransom around Afikpo Government Secondary School, the anti-kidnapping team of the Command who had taken over the scene arrested two members of the gang who came to collect the ransom. CP Abdallah also disclosed that the suspects volunteered vital information to the police which led to the successful rescue of the victim that was being held captive at Ubakala in Umuahia in Abia State.
She added that the successful rescue of the victim at the den of the kidnappers became possible through the effort of a combined team of Anti-kidnapping and Anti-robbery Squads of the command. The freed victim has since reunited with his family and is hale and hearty and after the on-going investigation, the suspects will be arraigned in court as soon as possible according to the CP.
Also paraded was one Ogbonna Nweke who allegedly attempted to rob a tricycle operator of his valuables when he was apprehended red handed with unlawful weapons by police patrol team following an alarm raised by the victim; while his gang member who perpetrated the act alongside him escaped and is still at large.
In an interview, the three kidnap suspects and their robbery counterpart denied knowledge of the crime but CP said they will be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed. Items recovered from the suspects are: one locally made pistol and two double barrel locally made pistols with live cartridges in possession of the kidnap suspects while one locally made revolver pistol and 2 live 9mm ammunition belong to the robbery suspect. The command also disclosed that Onwe Chibuzor of Amofia Ngbo in Ohaukwu and Ali Chibuike of Ezillo in Ishielu LGAs of Ebonyi state have also been arrested and charged to court for an alleged unlawful possession of dangerous and offensive weapons which include one AK-47 rifle with 2 magazines; 58 live ammunition; 5 rounds of K2 live ammunition; 12 rounds of live cartridges; 4 locally made single barrel guns; 1 pair of army camouflage boot; and 6 rounds of live AK47 ammunition.
The CP therefore warned all criminal elements to keep off Ebonyi State or be ready to face the long arm of the law just as she vowed that the safety of the general public would be assured at all times as they go about their lawful business. She further solicited the co-operation of the Ebonyi communities in giving timely information that will aid the police in preventing criminal acts especially during the ember months.