By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo.
As part of efforts by the Akwa Ibom State Police to keep the state unsaved for criminals, 12 persons suspected to be involved in various criminal activities in the state have combed out by the command to face trials.
The suspects, whose offences range from kidnapping, theft, armed robbery, rape, and cultism, were said to have been picked up from different locations across the state while one was caught in Benue state.
While parading the suspects on Tuesday, Akwa state commissioner of police, CP Murtala Mani, told journalists that two of the suspected criminals were picked up while removing batteries from street light, powered by solar energy in Uyo.
Mani, who spoke through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Cordelia Nwawe, stated that two other criminals were apprehended over car theft.
He said one Matthew Atsenga, 27, ‘m’ from Konshisha local government area in Benue State collected a car from a friend in Akwa Ibom and sold it to another person in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
According to the CP, when Atsenga was apprehended he took the police to the buyer, Daniel Usuk, 45, ‘m’, from Makurdi LGA, Benue state.
Usuk, father of three, who claimed to be a businessman, was picked up upon discovering that it was he that bought the stolen vehicle from Atsenga.
“On October 6, 2016 and other dates, we arrested men of the underworld from Etim Ekpo, Oron, and Uyo local government areas of Akwa Ibom State. And as part of our commitment to duty, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Murtala Mani, has at all times emphasized that the command would not tolerate hoodlums or bandits in Akwa Ibom.
“The men, right in front of you, were found with locally-made firearms – one long double barrel gun, three locally-made pistols, two cartridges, seven sophisticated mobile phones and charms,” he said.
Though regretted his action, Atsenga admitted collected a Toyota Sienna vehicle from a friend and sold it to one Daniel Usuk in Makurdi. He expressed regret over his action.
“My friend gave me a Toyota Sienna car to drive in Uyo. I took it to Benue state where I sold it. I initially looked for a buyer but when I did not see one on time, I handed the vehicle over to a friend to help me sell it. He sold it for N230,000,” Atsenga confessed.
Mani also revealed that a kidnap suspect, Elijah Fidelis, 23, ‘m,’ from Ukanafun LGA of the state, abducted a man and demanded a ransom from the family.
He added that the police asked the family of the kidnapped man to pay the money into the suspect’s account. He said that when the suspect brother went to the bank to collect the money, the police arrested him.
Fidelis, however, refuted the claim, saying that he only seized his employer bag over his refusal to pay him salaries for over a year in the hotel where he worked.
According to him, he would only release the seized bag to his employer after he might have received his one year and two month salaries from the man.
He said the development led to his boss demanding his bank account number. He added that since he did not have a bank account, he asked his boss to pay the money into his brother’s bank account, which number he had given him.
“When my brother went to withdraw the money from his account, he was told that the money could not be withdrawn. I called my boss who confirmed that he had paid the money into my brother’s bank account. So, my brother went back to the bank to get the money, there at the bank he was arrested by the police,” he said.