By Marcel Samuel
No fewer than 625 persons have been arrested by the Bayelsa State Police in connection with suspected murder, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms, while over 66 weapons of different makes and hundreds of ammunition have been recovered Police.
Parading the suspects at the Command headquarters, in Yenagoa, the State Commissioner of Police, Asuquo Amba, said the suspects were arrested between January and December 18, 2017.
Explaining further, CP Amba noted that during the period under review, the Police under his watch arrested 68 suspects for murder, 122 suspects for rape and assault, 87 persons for kidnapping, 241 suspects for armed robbery and 107 suspects for unlawful possession of firearms while 21 cases are under investigation and 27 of such cases have been charged to court. On rape and assault, 73 cases were reported “177 cases of armed robbery were reported, about 241 suspects were arrested, 70 cases are under investigation, 56 cases have been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice and 27 cases have been charged to court.
Speaking about the arms and ammunition recovered, the Commissioner of Police said operatives of Police recovered 40 locally-made pistol / guns, five locally-made double barreled gun, 11 locally-made pump-action guns, three revolver pistols, one K2 rifle and four AK-47 rifles.
CP Amba went on to say that the ammunition recovered during the period were 105 of 7.62mm ammunition, one dynamite, 190 cartridges, 12.9mm ammunition and one grenade, noting that the Police had identified cult activities , rape, armed robbery as the major crimes in the State.
CP Amba added that unlawful possession of firearms due to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons have also become common in the State, while advising parents and guardians to warn their wards/ children form visiting such locations.
The Commissioner said constant raid of flashpoint and black spots used for drugs dealing helped the Police to check the incidence of rape and defilement in the State, adding that the Command have also secured the conviction of a serial rapist and pedophile one Godbless Ogiode, who was sentenced to eight-year imprisonment.
Amba said the proliferation of small arms and light weapons has slowed down the pace of Police fight against criminal gangs who engage in armed robbery, asserting that a significant progress in the arrest armed robbery suspects and recovering of firearms have been made.