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Crime

Akwa Ibom Police Arrest 79 Suspects, Foil Kidnapping Plot

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In a significant crackdown on criminal activities, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has apprehended 79 suspects for various offenses in January 2024.

The State Commissioner of Police, Olatoye Dùròsinmi, made this disclosure during a news conference held at the Police headquarters in Uyo.

Dùròsinmi revealed that the arrests were made in connection with crimes including murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, and cultism.

He highlighted a major achievement in the arrest of 10 kidnappers who were planning to unleash havoc on the state.

Additionally, the operatives of Ibiono Ibom Division recovered four AK 47 rifles during their operations.

Detailing a specific operation, Dùròsinmi recounted how operatives stormed Ibiaku Ikot Oku community forest based on credible intelligence, engaging over 15 heavily armed suspects in a gun duel.

While some suspects managed to escape with bullet wounds, four were apprehended, and one AK 47 rifle was recovered. Subsequent investigations by the Anti-Robbery unit led to the arrest of six more suspects and the recovery of three additional AK 47 rifles.

The suspects, believed to have come from neighboring states, confessed to planning a kidnapping targeting an expatriate involved in construction work along the Calabar-Itu Highway.

Dùròsinmi assured that the suspects would be charged to court once investigations were concluded.

Expressing gratitude to the people of Akwa Ibom, Dùròsinmi appealed for continued cooperation and provision of information to ensure the swift apprehension of criminal elements.

He also commended other security agencies for their collaboration and support in maintaining the safety and security of Akwa Ibom.

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Crime

EFCC Commences Probe into Eight Suspects for Alleged Illegal Oil Bunkering in Akwa Ibom

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced the initiation of an investigation into eight individuals suspected of engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities in Akwa Ibom State.

According to EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale, who issued a statement in Uyo on Tuesday, the suspects were apprehended for dealing in petroleum products without the appropriate licensing.

Though the identities of the suspects were not disclosed, Oyewale stated that they were arrested by the Nigeria Navy Ship, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka, on February 23 while aboard a wooden boat named MV Jasmine.

“The suspects were apprehended in possession of 30,000 litres of petroleum products suspected to be crude oil, stored in four plastic tanks,” he added.

Oyewale further mentioned that the suspects and the confiscated exhibits were handed over to the EFCC on April 3 by the Commanding Officer of FOB Ibaka, Capt. Uche Aneke.

Assuring a thorough investigation into the matter, the EFCC spokesperson reiterated the commission’s commitment to addressing illegal oil bunkering activities.

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Crime

Police Officers Injured in Cult Attack During Undercover Mission in Akwa Ibom State

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Two officers of the Nigeria Police Force, reportedly on an undercover mission, were severely injured by suspected cult members in Akwa Ibom State.

Reports revealed that the officers narrowly escaped being lynched but suffered multiple machete and projectile assaults by the criminals.

According to sources, the incident occurred when the officers, from the Abak local government area divisional headquarters, went to Ibong Ikot Akpan Abasi Village, Otoro Clan in Abak local government area to arrest a wanted criminal known as Udo. They succeeded in apprehending the suspect but encountered vehicle trouble on their way back to the station.

The criminals, led by Udo, raised an alarm claiming they were being kidnapped by unknown persons. This prompted youths from the community to mobilize and attack the officers with machetes and other weapons, despite their attempts to show their identity cards.

The severity of the attack left the officers with bruises all over their bodies, and they were later evacuated to a hospital for treatment after intervention from the paramount ruler of Abak. The police authorities have confirmed the incident and assured that the injured officers are receiving medical attention.

The state commissioner of police, Mr. Waheed Ayilara, has directed a specialized investigation team to work with other security agencies to apprehend the wanted criminal and his accomplices responsible for the assault.

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Akwa Ibom Community Celebrates as Court Sentences Local Terror to Death

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In a momentous ruling that resonated deeply with the people of Idung Ntuk Umah in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, the State High Court has delivered a verdict that has been widely celebrated by the local community.

Udobong Stephen Adiahaunwa, a 48-year-old father of two and brother to the late Village Head, was sentenced to death by hanging, marking a significant milestone in the community’s fight against crime and terror.

Presided over by Justice Gabriel Ette, the court found Udobong guilty on charges of conspiracy, armed robbery, and terrorism, bringing an end to a series of criminal activities that had plagued the village for years. The charges stem from incidents dating back to 2009, including armed robbery, abduction, and the forceful initiation of teenagers into cult groups, all of which left the community in a state of fear and turmoil.

Udobong’s criminal spree began on December 29, 2009, when he and his gang, disguised as SARS Police operatives, abducted Friday Jackson Joe, who remains missing. Subsequent years saw further atrocities, including the robbery of village treasurers and the forceful initiation of teenagers into cultism, culminating in widespread fear and the destabilization of community life.

Despite previous arrests and temporary releases, Udobong’s reign of terror continued until his rearrest in December 2020, followed by a trial that concluded with his sentencing. His attempts to evade justice, including filing a suit for breach of fundamental rights while in hiding, ultimately failed to deter the course of law.

The verdict, delivered after a thorough examination of evidence and testimonies, was met with overwhelming approval from the community members who packed the courtroom to its capacity. This sentencing not only signifies a triumph of justice but also marks a pivotal moment of relief and hopeful restoration for the people of Idung Ntuk Umah.

The community has lauded Justice Gabriel Ette for his decisive judgement, viewing it as a restoration of their faith in the judiciary’s ability to uphold justice and protect the innocent. Udobong’s condemnation is seen as a closure to a dark chapter in the village’s history, offering a glimmer of hope for a peaceful and more secure future for the residents of Idung Ntuk Umah.

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