By Gladys Nweke
An alleged five-member gang of kidnappers has been dragged to court by the Rivers State Police Command.
The defendants: Promise Oyekonwu ‘m’ Samuel Chinedu ‘m’, Precious Ogbonna ‘m’ Nwobiri Ikokwu ‘m’, and Blessing Okere ‘f’ were said to have been arrested by a joint operation led by the Eagle Crack Unit of the Nigeria Police Force on a tip-off.
Briefing our correspondent on the facts of the case, the prosecutor, Inspector Aaron Nsirem said, “A case of kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism were brought to court by men of the Eagle Crack Squad.
Early this year, intelligence report got to the police regarding criminal activities by some group of boys in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State. In response to the intelligence report, there was a joint operation comprising anti-robbery, anti cultism, anti-kidnapping, operation sting, which was led by the Eagle Crack Squad and successfully raided the camp of the criminals.
”Five of these criminals were arrested including a woman that cooks for them. The police recovered one locally made cut to size gun from the criminals. On interrogation, the criminals confessed to the offence and were finally arraigned before this court for trial.
”It is of note that Rivers State has been a place where cultists, kidnappers and armed robbers do not allow people to have peace. Once they kidnap anybody, if the person is a female, they must sexually molest that person and so we need to be very tough on criminals.
”Coming to court, the defendants were denied bail because I objected to it on the ground that the magistrate court lacks the jurisdiction to grant bail on such offences.
”The court, however, ordered the case file to be sent to the state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.
”We are urging everybody in this state to help the police through intelligence sharing so that we can arrest these criminals to reduce crime and criminality in the state. Must of these criminals are operating undercover and very many people are afraid of giving us information regarding these criminals because they feel that these criminals will come after them.
”At the moment, the defendants are all remanded in prison custody, pending legal advice from the state DPP.”