Delta State Police Command Headquarters, Asaba on Thursday, 23/2/2017 show cased breakthroughs recorded in its efforts to combat and reduce crime in the state with a total haul of 25 criminal suspects in its net.
The arrests were over crimes covering kidnapping with 12 suspects arrested and armed robbery with seven suspects arrested. In all three locally made guns were recovered, two pump action guns, three dane guns and nine live cartridges were recovered. Also recovered were three vehicles.
Addressing journalists at a press conference where the suspects were paraded, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna M. Ibrahim appealed for continuous support from all and sundry in the fight against criminal elements in the society, even as he enjoined all Deltans and residents in the state to always embrace peace and harmonious co-existence in the state.
While assuring Deltans that the Command is poised to flush out criminal herdsmen and other nefarious elements from Delta State, he clarified his earlier directive to herdsmen not to graze their cattle on farm lands, even as he appealed to farmers to always follow lawful means in addressing issues instead of resorting to jungle justice.
“Let me at this juncture, reiterate the fact that I did not and at no time had I ever issued order to the effect that herdsmen or any person or group of Nigerians should vacate Delta State.
“Needless to say that the Constitution of Nigeria recognizes the rights of Nigerians to live in whatever part of the country they choose, and I, as the Chief enforcer of the laws and Constitution of Nigeria in Delta State cannot be ignorant of this. All I have stated both here and elsewhere is that herdsmen should always abide by the rules and ethos of the people they live with,” the Commissioner of Police said.
He then announced that the State Police Command had received reports of herdsmen’s complaints in some parts of the state. “We equally received reports of reprisal attacks and killing of herdsmen. The Command is doing its best to bring about lasting solution to the issues,” Mr. Ibrahim said.
On the Ogbe-Ijoh/ Aladja communal crisis Ibrahim announced that on the advice of the Delta state Security Council, the State government has acquired the land in dispute and has begun the clearing of the bushes in the area to prevent further ambush and attack by the communities against each other.
“I recently visited the disputed land to see the level of work being done and boost the morale of security operatives deployed to maintain peace in the affected area,” he disclosed.
On the missing policemen, Ibrahim recalled that on 5/2/2017, in an effort to apprehend reported criminal herdsmen who engaged in forceful grazing on farm lands, rape and armed robbery at Agadama community, the Area Commander in charge Ughelli Area Command led some patrol teams to Agadama bush.
He said that on sighting the security operatives, the herdsmen engaged them in a fierce gun duel. “At the end of the encounter, police inspector and Corporal were reported missing. Regrettably, the corpse of the missing Inspector was later found floating on a river within the community. He was suspected to have drowned in the river. Meanwhile, efforts are in place to ensure that the remaining missing officer is found,” the commissioner of Police stated.
Highpoint of the Police briefing was the presentation of a gift by a little boy of about 7 years, whose mother had come with him to show appreciation to the Police, for rescuing the child from the den of his abductors.
According to the story by the mother, the little boy had been kidnapped about 7months ago, having been lured with a pack of sweets while playing in his compound in Okpana, a sleepy suburb community next to Asaba, the Delta state capital, by unknown persons in Delta and taken to Ikwerreland in Rivers state, where his kidnappers had attempted to erase his old existence, by giving him a new name, putting him in school and forcing him to learn the Ikwerre dialect, even as he was often beaten whenever he tried to recall his old name and way of life.
The Delta state Police Command had actually been on the case of a suspected notorious kidnapping baroness, known as ‘Madam cash’ and their drag net had spread to Port Harcourt, after a crack police raid of her home and the discovery that some, amongst the children found in her captivity had already been sold to willing buyers in Port Harcourt in a long running racket that had earlier landed Madam Cash in police custody, but she had managed to get bail from the Courts for lack of corroborating evidence of her complicity in the alleged crime.
The police however still had one of the heavily pregnant surrogate mothers allegedly used by Madam Cash in their custody and after she had given birth in Prison, was convinced by the police to shed more light on the child trafficking ring and she it was, who revealed that a syndicated network was thriving, but in the particular case of the luck child who was rescued, the SIM Card used for the transaction had been destroyed to delete all traces of deal.
The police, according to the story had however remained dogged in their investigations and had brought considerable pressure on all the suspects, especially after they were able to successfully trace some of the conversation that transpired in the business, which in turn created maximum panic in their camp and forced them hurriedly and reluctantly drive the little boy back to Delta and dump him in a nearby settlement close to Asaba for his mother to pick him up and be reunited with her son for whom all hope of ever finding had been lost.