·Rivers police kills 6, captures 6 kidnapers terrorizing the route at Emohua
·Raid said to have stopped impending attack on Ndele community
By Ignatius Chukwu
The biggest battle in policing in Rivers State seems to be to free the East-West Road from kidnappers and gangs.
The battle by the present police authorities in Rivers State led by Polycarp Abonyi Emeka to free the Rivers section of the popular East-West Road has continued to rage on.
Kidnapping has continued to take place on the road especially at Emohua section of the road which is close to Port Harcourt.
Now, the police command under Emeka seems to determined to rescue to road and free it for travellers. No week passes without the police invading one forest camp or the other where humans (travellers) are tied to trees waiting for ransom. Many die in the process.
This week, the CP’s men invaded one of the spots controlled by a particular gang and shooting followed.
It was gathered that the police action had preempted the invasion of Ndele, a nearby community, suspected to have implicated for the invasion of the cult gang previously. The remnants of the gang allegedly regrouped and sent messages to Ndele to wait for them.
Giving the account of the invasion on Friday, the CP said it was sequel to the criminal activities of a gang of wanted criminals terrorizing the route. He said operatives attached to the Anti-Cultism Unit (former SARS), in conjunction with other tactical teams, invaded the hideout of one Uchechukwu Daniel Okana at Obele in Emohua.
“On sighting the police operatives, the hoodlums in their numbers opened fire on them. A quick response by the operatives neutralized and dislodged the miscreants as they scampered for safety and bowed to superior fire-power. Six were neutralized, and another six were arrested, he said.
“The six arrested suspects are helping the detectives in further investigation.
While thanking the good people of Rivers State for their understanding and cooperation, I wish to use this medium to solicit for more support by availing the Police with useful information for more exploits.”
At a press briefing to update the public on how far the war against violent crime, the new CP who has been consistent in the ware against gangs, said the command has rescued kidnap victims, halted cult-related activities, arrested miscreants and store burglars, and arrest of notorious cultists and black-market pipeline vandals.
The CP said one of the arrests took place at the GRA along King Perekule Junction/Play House GRA, Port Harcourt, following a tip-off. He said: “My operatives intercepted and rescued a victim (name withheld) of a kidnapping case reported to the Command.
“The victims narrated that one of their friends was kidnapped and taken away by the hoodlums who were operating in a carton-coloured Lexus RX 350 jeep after shooting at their vehicle’s tyre. Pieces of 7.62mm empty shell and one iPhone belonging to the victim were recovered.”
Next, on Thursday, July 6, 2023, the police acted on information and trailed and tracked down a gang of kidnappers at their hideout along King Perekule GRA, Port Harcourt. The victim was rescued unhurt in a bush at Ozuoha in Ikwere LGA. One 20-year-old suspect, Buchi David, a native of Aka Community in Oguta LGA in Imo State was arrested. “Exhibits recovered from them include: One locally fabricated, cut-to-size gun, six cartridges, and army camouflage. Effort is being made to arrest the fleeing suspects while investigation is ongoing.”
Yet, on Friday, June 30, 2023 at about 3pm, also acting on credible information that there were cult-related activities going on along Hospital Road, Bonny, a patrol team from Bonny Division tactically moved to the scene.
He said: “The cultists, on sighting the police, took to their heels. Exhibits recovered from the scene include an English-made pistol, a bag, and one Tecno Phone. An investigation has commenced with a view to arresting the fleeing suspects.”
The same Friday between 7am and 12 noon, police operatives attached to Special Area Division, Eagle Monitoring Unit, other tactical teams and local vigilante men of Obio-Akpor embarked on a rigorous and intensive joint raiding of criminal hide-outs and illicit drug sale outlets within Obio-Akpor L.G.A.
The CP said the outcome of the joint operation was a harvest of suspects comprising of young boys/girls between the ages of 15 and 28 with assorted exhibits.
“Exhibits recovered include different hard drugs suspected to be Ice, marijuana (Indian hemp), cannabis, cocaine, and heroin. Also recovered from the premises of the Slaughter behind Rumuokoro Market were three PMF uniforms without name tags, one army camouflage scarf, a green army raincoat, cult-related accouterments such as cutlass, a small axe, daggers, one locally fabricated revolver pistol with one live cartridge, and four expended cartridges. The suspects have been professionally interrogated and profiled.”
The command reported more cracking operations in different parts of the state and recovered may items.
“Operatives of Anti-Cultism Unit Bori Annex, on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, while on patrol at Yonkuru Community in Khana LGA, arrested one Baridakara Baridam, a.k.a Ojukwu, who has been on the wanted list of the State Police Command.
“On interrogation, he confessed to being one of a three-man gang comprising Mali from Bere Community and Lekian, a.k.a Tall Man, both from Khana LGA.
The suspect confessed to owning two AK-47 rifles, which they use in their criminal activities, the two AK47 riffles have been recovered. Investigation is ongoing.”
The war seems to continue unabated as the gangs seem not to have anywhere to hide in Rivers State at the moment.