The Rivers State Police Command says it has arrested leaders of Deygbam and Iceland cult groups terrorising Kereken Community in Bua Boue kingdom in Khana local government area and other parts of Ogoni axis of the state.
Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Disu Olatunji while parading the suspects alongside several others at the Command headquarters on Monday said they were arrested after weeks of intense surveillance in separate crack operations, by operatives of the command in the state.
CP Disu explained that two cult leaders, Baridapdo Igia
and Elvis Gordon, after series of interrogations, confessed that their groups have engaged endless clashes in the Kereken community and Boue kingdom leading to killing of several persons in the area.
The CP disclosed that the suspects also admitted to kidnapping and burying one Praise Daakian, a former CDC Chairman of the community alive, after collecting the sum of N200,000 as part of payment for his ransom from the victim’s wife.
He said the duo also confessed to murdering nine other victims from 2021 to 2023 which led to residents fleeing the community within the period.
The Rivers Police Commissioner also confirmed that some police officers who allegedly kidnapped one Mr. Darlington Bieh from Taabaa, in Khana LGA, last Friday around Choba axis of the state and demanded a ransom of N1 million from his family have been arrested.
Darlington Bieh, we learnt was rescued from the dubious police officers who kidnapped him by the Divisional Police Officer of Choba Division who pretended to be the boy’s father and engaged them in negotiation on phone for payment of ransom.
The DPO eventually located the policemen at a bush in Aluu Community in Ikwerre LGA at bout 1am, where they had taken him to.
The new Rivers CP, while briefing Journalists on other successes of the command in his few weeks in office also warned members of the public to adhere to regulations regarding the use of tinted motor glasses and display of license plate numbers in the state.
His words, “Operatives of the Command, on 16th November 2023 at about 0132hrs, while on stop and search at Borikiri, Port Harcourt, intercepted one Boma Loveday aged 30yrs ‘m’ of Okirika Town in Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“He resisted being searched, but the officers on duty insisted as they were responding to a tip-off. Upon conducting a search, there was found in his possession a bag containing one AK47 Magazine loaded with thirty (30) rounds of 7.62 x 39mm live ammunition and some substances suspected to be hard drugs popularly called Ice or Mpurumiri.”
The CP also disclosed that operatives of the Command attached to C4i Intelligence on the 15th November arrested two armed robbery suspects, Emmanuel Essien and Marshal Ime both from Etim-Ekpo, Akwa-Ibom State who confessed to being members of a four-man armed robbery syndicate terrorising parts of Port Harcourt in recent times.
One of the suspects, Essien Emmanuel, disclosed to the Operatives that he had been arrested, charged to court and imprisoned three times for sundry offences. He had also been shot in the shoulder in a previous robbery operation at Trans-Amadi, a bullet wound he still bears.
They further revealed that they snatch vehicles and sell them off to one Alhaji and several other buyers. The proceed of the last sale, which was a Lexus RX 300, fetched them 800,000 Naira, paid in two instalments.
Continuing, he said “Operatives of the Command attached to Mini-Okoro Area Command, Port Harcourt, on 19th November 2023, at about 2200hrs while on patrol along Danjuma Drive, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt, intercepted a Tricycle (popularly called Keke) with three occupants named Elsharawy Joseph, Thankgod Achese and Ibrahim Ishaq suspected to be cultists and armed robbers.
Upon a thorough search, one locally made Pistol and a dagger were recovered, alongside the tricycle which is suspected to be stolen.
The suspects confessed to the crime of robbery using the ‘one chance’ model and have successfully robbed and stolen phones and valuables from unsuspecting victims.
“They use their tricycle (Keke) along Odili Road and Abuloma areas to search for passengers to rob and push the passengers out after forcibly taking their valuables. They owned up to using a dagger and a locally made pistol to scare their victims. They obtained the pistol from one Nkpogeto, who is still at large.”
He said the suspects, ammunitions as well as cars and tricycles recovered from all the suspects are in police custody.