From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Nigeria Police Force, Kogi Command on Wednesday, paraded 52 suspected kidnappers, armed robbers and political thugs arrested from their various hideout across the state during the just concluded State House of Assembly elections.
The commissioner of police, Hakeem Busari told journalists that the clamp down on the criminal elements was in line with the implementation of the IGP Mohammed Adamu ‘s general elections order adopted systematic security measures through intensive raids of criminal hideouts , black spots and flash points which led to the arrest of these 52 criminals.
Parading the suspects before newsmen at the Police Command Headquarters in Lokoja, CP Busari noted that through intelligence and synergy with other security operatives with the cooperation from the public , kidnappers and armed robbers terrorizing the people of Adogo in Ajaokuta LGA and other parts of the state were apprehended and they have confessed to the commission of the crime.
He added that some suspected kidnappers, Musa Haruna, Haruna Ahmadu Ibrahim Haruna Gambo Dauda and Sani Yunusa who kidnapped and killed one Alhaji Usman Magaji , the Ardo of Fulani camp at Adogo were arrested by the discreet operation of the Special Anti robbery Squad ( SARS).
However, while parading 12 suspected political thugs , one of the suspects arrested from Omala LGA on the evening of 9th March 2019 state Assembly election, Mr. Joshua Ejigbo of Icheke Ajokpachi denied his involvement rather stated that he and four others were victims of political harassment.
According to him ” I am the head of vigilante in my village Icheke Ajokpachi. The community leaders called me to assist them to escort the electoral officers and the materials to the local government collation centre at Abejukolo, which is the headquarters of Omala Local Government Council.
“The news of the alleged Agatu militias to attack the strongholds of the PDP was renting the air. The whole ward had one police to protect the election officers, corpers and materials and with the whirlwind of the alleged thugs, I could not decline the clarion call to assist my community.
” On getting near to the Secretariat, venue of the collation, we saw two Sienna Buses fully loaded with Agatu militias shooting sporadically at us. The hilux van we were in was badly riddled with bullets. The police man with us escaped into the bus while the INEC officers scampered to safety . I and four of my colleagues were caught, beaten mercilessly while some people we dont know their identity took us to the police station. On our enquiry they said we were brought here to save us from the Agatus.
” We were surprised that the third day we were taken to Anyigba and later Ankpa area commands without charges against us. The Area command asked them of our offense as they could not provide evidence against us. He directed them to take us back to Abejukolo.
” However, instead of taking us home they brought us to Lokoja. It was in lokoja that they asked us to write statement, which we did without the arresting officers. How can thugs and thieves from another state hired commit a crime and then handed over the victims to the police .As im talking to you money and personal belongings inside the Hilud van have been stolen, he bemoaned.
While restating his innocence, he called on the Commissioner of Police,Hammed Busari , DIG on elections in Kogi and Kwara, Mr Chidozie Nwobodo to wade in by instituting independent enquiry into the matter to safe him and his colleagues from undue political victimization stating that he is neither a PDP nor APC member but only responding to the call of the community.