How police tracked, trapped PH serial killer

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* As commercial sex workers hail Police over arrest

By Gladys Nweke

Details have emerged how the police in Port Harcourt tracked and later trapped the serial killer of women in Port Harcourt.

At the briefing, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Mustapha Dandaura, said the arrest of the suspected Gracious David West became possible with the assistance of one of the hotels that complied with the directive to install closed-circuit television (CCTV).

“The hotel later reported to the police about the development and released to us the telephone number he (West) dropped with the hotel. We began tracking him via his phone, and with God on our side, he was arrested along Ogoni axis, of East-West Road on his way to Akwa Ibom State, on a Thursday afternoon by men of the command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad who were on their usual stop-and-search duties.

“When the SARS operatives asked the passengers in the vehicle to disembark for a search, they saw the suspect in the same attire (a T-shirt and blue trousers) which he wore in the viral video. The SARS team called my attention to it on the phone, and I asked that he should be brought straight to my office.

“The moment he stepped into my office, I called him by his name, David West, and he answered. He then said to me, ‘Please sir, I am ready to tell you the truth. I don’t want any problem”, the state police boss said.

Commercial sex workers rejoice

Excitements are still greeting commercial sex workers in Port Harcourt following the arrest of Gracious David West, a suspected serial killer of young women in hotel rooms, by the Nigeria Police Force.

West who was paraded before journalists by the Rivers State Police Command at its headquarters at Moscow Road last Friday confessed to having killed about seven young women within three states of Rivers, Lagos and Imo at separate intervals.

This was made known when some newsmen visited some brothels in Port Harcourt where sex workers expressed their joy over the arrest ofWest by the police, insisting that the suspected serial killer of young women should be killed without delay.

They also thanked the security agencies especially the police, all stakeholders including religious organizations and women groups whose prayers also led to the arrest of suspect even as they expressed sadness over the killings.

Narrating her feeling during the reign of killing in the state and the eventual arrest of suspected West, Omotala Ogunleye said, “Concerning the killings of young women in hotel rooms, we thank all the police personnel. Now we know that the police are doing their work because they have been able to arrest the alleged serial killer. We also thank the women and other religious bodies who prayed for these killings of women to end. We thank God for hearing our prayers.

“We were not happy about our colleague and friend that was killed by that serial killer. We like her character, but we cannot bring her back because that serial killer had cut short her life. But we are still happy because his arrest will either end or reduce the killing of young women in the state.”

In her grief over the killing of her colleague, Mary Yadoo said anyone found culpable for the murder of young women in the state should be killed immediately without delay, adding that such retribution would help deter others. She said that though the corpse of her slain colleague had been found but was yet to know where she was killed.

Yadoo said, “We want the serial killer(s) to be killed too for them also to feel the pain of death.”

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