By RICHARD NDOMA, Calabar
Troops of Nigerian Army attached to “Operation Akpakwu” Security outfit formed by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River to tackle the surging wave of kidnapping and other form of criminality in the state has arrested a traditional ruler of Obufa Obio, Ekong Anaku Akan Esio Clan, Calabar South LGA of Cross River State.
The traditional ruler, Chief Okon Essien was arrested for alleged kidnapping in Community Road off Jebbs Street, Calabar South in the metropolis.
Addressing journalists in Calabar, Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed, stated that preliminary investigation revealed that the traditional rulers two sons Vector Okon who is about 21 years old and Offiong Okon age 20 alleged to be in charge of kidnapping operations are now at large.
Speaking on behalf of the 13 Brigade Commander, while handing the suspected kidnapper alongside other other criminal /armed robbery suspects at the headquarters of 13 Brigade Nigerian Army Akim Barracks Calabar to authority of the Nigerian police Command, Officer Commanding 13 Brigade Provost, Major Stanley Ikpeme in his words said, “Consequently, I am directed to hand over the suspects to you for further investigation and possible prosecution.
” You are please requested to furnish this office with the outcome of your investigation to enable us update our record ” representative of the Brigade Commander maintained.
Apart from the 45 years old traditional ruler suspected to be involved in the brisk business of kidnapping, the army also arrested and paraded armed robbery suspects with charms purported to be used for robbery operations.
Among the criminal suspects arrested by the troops of Operation Akpakwu,and handed over to the police includes, 26 years old master James Edet said have dispossessed members of his community around the Scanobo Filling station axis of their valuables until he met his Waterloo and was held by the troops.
The troops also arrested 23 years old Mr. Felix Helekpa said to be in possession of a locally made pistol, a cartridge and charms used to aid his robbery operations with other gang members now at large.
Others also arrested include 22 years Blessing Effiom suspected to be an informant that aides operations of a particular criminal gang.
In a brief interview with suspects, some denied their involvement in the crime giving different reasons on why they were arrested by the security operative.