The ongoing security consultative meetings, being conducted by the Bayelsa State Police Command with the various stakeholders in the state seems to be yielding results. The new partnership recorded a new harvest of arrest of suspected cultists, murderers and the killers of the 16-year-old undergraduate, Miss Seyifa Fred, recently murdered in Yenagoa. OSA OKHOMINA (Yenagoa) examines the inside details of partnership between the civilian vigilante and the Bayelsa Police command.
When the Bayelsa State government established that the youth vigilante group, identified as the Bayelsa State Vigilante Service, headed by the chairman, Evangelist Parkins Ogede, declared their readiness to assist the police in their manhunt for the killers of the 16-year-old undergraduate, Miss Seyifa Fred, many in the state did not take them serious.
According to the Bayelsa State Vigilante Service, with membership across communities and local government areas of the state, they offered and deployed the Urban Surveillance Unit and some special squad to the scene of the crime, with a view of trailing the culprits.
“The Urban Surveillance Unit and some key special squad who were drafted to the scene of crime, with the aim of trailing the culprits to face the full music of the law, used the medium to warn Bayelsans, especially the youths to be wary of their actions and inactions.
“We assure the government and the bereaved family that those behind the heinous crime would be fished out to face prosecution,” the statement issued by the organisation stated while urging Bayelsans to give useful information that would lead to the arrest of the fleeing suspects.
Less than four days after the gruesome murder of Miss Seyifa Fred, the residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, were shocked and relieved that the suspected killer, one John Daumunabo, 20, of Ebi Mechanic Taos, Amarata, was arrested with locally made revolver pistol.
LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that the self confessed cultist, Junior Daumunabo, admitted that his gang was responsible for the killing of 16-year-old 100 level student of the Niger Delta University (NDU), Seyifa Fred.
Daumunabo, who was among 31 cultists paraded at the state police command, Yenagoa, for murder, robberies and other crimes, however, claimed he did not partake in the operation that killed Seyifa.
The 20-year-old, who is a member of the Greenland cult group, said his gang was always in the habit of attacking people within Yenagoa and collecting their android phones.
But he said that he refused to join in the operation that killed Seyifa because he was scared the deceased could identify his face. He said while his gang members embarked on the evil mission, he sat close to one supermarket in Amarata to wait for them.
“When they came back, they said they killed the girl and l asked why? They told me the girl was dragging the phone with them and they shot her. I didn’t shoot her. I didn’t follow them in the operation,” he said.
When asked to name his gang members that shot the innocent teenager, he identified them as Richman and Enemor. He, however, said he was arrested with a locally made pistol in another operation he embarked upon with two other cultists to rob people of their phones.
“We were three going to steal phones and we were in a tricycle. Suddenly, members of the Bayelsa Vigilant Service appeared. Two others with me ran away. I was caught in the process. They retrieved the gun from my hand. I have been robbing phones,” he stated.
Evangelist Parkinson Ogede told LEADERSHIP Friday that the mission statement of the Bayelsa State Vigilante Service is gradually being met with community intelligence gathering among the less than 2,000 youths working with the service.
Ogede said members of the group are experienced with trainings received from the Nigerian Army, Police and the United Nations. Though they complain of the challenge of logistics, “manpower and patrol vehicle, we have called on the public to build their trust in us and assist by volunteering themselves for service to the people”.
Ogede, who commended the Bayelsa State governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, for doing everything possible to stem down crime in the state, said the vigilante service has recorded over 15 cases that have been solved and suspects handed to the Nigerian Police including that of the murdered undergraduate.
Parading the arrested criminals, made up of 17 cultists, armed robbers and police killer, at the state police headquarters in Yenagoa, the authorities of the command paraded those involved in the killing and murder of the 16 years old year one student of the Niger Delta University, Seyifa Fred and the killing of the a police corporal, Sammy Saturday, last month.
The state commissioner of police, Mr Joseph Mukan, said the suspects were apprehended with the assistance of the state vigilante service and other stakeholders. The police commissioner who resumed office few week ago, said he observed that most of the prevalent crimes in the state like armed robbery and rape are all related to cultism, calling for the cooperation of Bayelsans to help curb it.
He said the command, as a counter security measure, would no longer wait for the criminals to come out and perpetuate their nefarious activities, but would intensify their operations on their hide outs, “As a counter security measure, we will intensify our operations on hide-out of armed robbers and cultists. We will continue to carry out targeted raids on criminal hideouts and conduct stop and search operations.”
“On the 16th of November, at about 5am, with the assistance of the Bayelsa State Vigilante Service, one John Daumunabo, 20 years old, of Ebi Mechanic Taos, Amarata, was arrested with locally made revolver pistol.
The suspect led the police to arrest one Ayibakepreye Idionyo, a 30 years later man, who allegedly supplied the local pistol. On the 21st of October, the command’s Clearance Squad arrested one Funkeye John, a 24-year-old male, in connection with armed robbery and murder of Corporal Sammy Saturday, of the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Yenagoa, at Tombia roundabout.”
“The suspect led the police to arrest their gang member, one Evans Kuro, a 20-year-old, Taye Paul and Diepreye, who confessed how the policeman was killed. The two are members of the Greenlander confraternity. Those involved in robbery are members of cult groups, so parents should watch them, they should know what their children are doing and that was the reason I had interactive session with traditional rulers.
“We appealed to them to help us take the message to their communities. If you look at the age grade, none of them is up to 25 years, they should be in school but they take to cultism, which doesn’t pay. So every parent should watch his or her children. We have about 17 suspects involved in cultism and various crimes, we recovered about 12 locally made pistols and seven suspects in murder related crimes.
“We had been carrying out raids on identified criminal hideouts and we are stemming the temple. It’s almost two weeks now we are raiding the black spots and we are continuing until we rid Bayelsa State of criminal elements. We are equal to the task and you can see nothing has changed and it’s five days since Doo-Akpor left the road and we are coping fine. Nothing like upsurge in crime because Doo-Akpor is on the raid. We are equal to the task.”
Some of the suspects who spoke with newsmen confirmed their involvement with the various cult groups in the state, especially the Greenlanders and Icelanders.
Even the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) commended the effort of the authority of the Bayelsa State command,
“To us, the new police commissioner is doing very well in the state. Indeed, we commend him for reaching out to all the critical segments of society, especially the youths, in his attempt to rid the state of crime and criminality. Similarly, we salute police commissioner, Mukan, for apprehending the suspected killers of Miss Seyifa Fred. Fred, a first year student of Niger Delta University, was killed recently in Yenagoa.”
As a counter security measure, we will intensify our operations on hideout of armed robbers and cultists. We will continue to carry out targeted raids on criminal hideouts and conduct stop and search operations