Tension in Imo Community Over Alleged Police Release of Notorious Kidnap SuspectFeatured, Latest News, News Sunday, June 19th, 2016
…As Natives Allege Foul Play
By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Owerri
Anxiety and fear has gripped residents of Nguru Umuaro community and environ in Ngor Okpala local government Area of Imo State, South East Nigeria over the alleged release from detention a suspected notorious kidnap gang leader.
The kidnap kingpin and two others, who hails from the locality was released weekend by the state Police command.
It would be recalled that six suspects had earlier been arrested by the command over the kidnap of President-General of the community, Chief Reginald Amadi.
The victim however, was said to have identified three of his abductors when they were paraded by the police.
Meanwhile, the community is accusing the police of foul play, alleging that the black uniform security operatives, have compromised in handling the matter.
A source from the community who craved anonymity for fear of the uncertainty said: “Our community on suspecting foul play among the men of the Police handling the matter sent a strong delegation led by our traditional ruler, Eze A. Unanka to the commissioner of Police.
“We appealed to the Commissioner for a diligent investigation and prosecution of all identified suspects, so as to rid our community of criminals.”
According to the source, “the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, had applauded the delegation for their determination in fighting crime in their community and assured them of a thorough investigation of the matter.
“But to our surprise, two days after the meeting, the three suspects earlier identified by the victim as his abductors were released.
The victim, who berated the police for the hasty release of the identified suspects, said the action of the police had caused anxiety in the community as well as put the security of the community leaders at risk.
“Among the three, most shocking is the release of one of the suspects from Elelem community in Ngor Okpala LGA, a notorious kidnap suspect who I identified during the suspects’ parade.
“For five days, they held me in a location at Elelem where the suspect comes from.” the victim stated.
Chief Amadi, recalled that another suspect arrested in faraway Lagos, has also mentioned the name of associates to this notorious kidnapper.
Also speaking, Secretary of the town union, Chief Casmir Anyanwu, expressed shock on the police action, adding that the entire community are now exposed to a potent security risk in the hands of criminal elements.
The Imo state Police Public Relations Officer PPRP, Mr. Andrew Enwerem,in his reaction, said only one person confessed to the crime and did not indict the others.
While dismissing the allegation, he stated that it is not the practice of the Nigerian police to release kidnap suspects because of the serious nature of the crime.
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