The police in Akwa Ibom have arrested three men suspected to be behind a number of bank robberies in the state.
The state, especially its capital city, Uyo, has witnessed a series bank robberies of late.
The police commissioner in the state, Zubairu Muazu, who paraded the three suspects before journalists in Uyo on Tuesday, said that they were arrested at Eket town, in Eket local government area of the state, on November 3 after robbing a bank customer of N1 million.
The victim, Nkereuwem Akpan, was said to have just withdrawn the money from a First Bank branch in Eket, when the robbers trailed and attacked him at a local eatery, Food Affairs, opposite the bank.
The arrest was effected through sustained monitoring of the suspects’ movement, the police commissioner said.
The police gave the names of the suspects as Hycent Bright, said to be their gang leader, Medford John and John Chibueze.
Apart from the gang leader, who is said to be based in Eket, the other two, the police said, usually travelled from the neighbouring Rivers State to carry out operations in the state.
The police said they recovered a Toyota Avalon car, with the registration number NCH 28 ST, N521, 300, one Techno phone, and several ATM cards from the suspects.
The commissioner, in addition, said that the police anti-kidnapping team in the state on Tuesday arrested four kidnappers at Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.
“Public trust and confidence in the police has improved tremendously. The large flow of information from members of the public is unprecedented. We have established more platforms where the police and members of the public interface regularly”, the police commissioner said.
Full Press Statement Below:
PRESS BRIEFING BY THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE AKWA IBOM STATE POLICE COMMAND, CP ZUBAIRU MUAZU, HELD ON THE 7TH NOVEMBER, 2017, AT THE STATE HEADQUARTERS, IKOT AKPAN ABIA, UYO.
Gentlemen of the Press, I am pleased to welcome you to today’s Press Briefing. The last two months have been quite eventful and very peaceful. We witness a peaceful Parties Primaries across the State. Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo are also calm. Armed robbery, Kidnapping, Cultism, Child stealing/Selling, Rape and other heinous crimes were tackled head on. It was indeed a battle fought and won with the support of the good people of Akwa Ibom State. Gentlemen of the Press, you are a big part of the success story. Thank you very much.
The command is determined to sustain the tempo in crime fighting and protection of lives and property. Our efforts in crime bursting have been intensified through our community policing drive, people oriented policing; problem solving approach; intelligence led policing; visibility policing; intensive stop and search, vehicular and foot patrols and of course ‘Operation Purge’ we launched at Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo. My decision to temporarily relocate the Operation Base of our Special Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism Units to identified flashpoints in Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo and Onna, yielded positive results as 15 Kidnappers and 20 Cultist were apprehended and charged to Court.
I deemed it necessary to highlight our break through as follows:
v Public trust and confidence in the police has improved tremendously. The large flow of information from members of the public in unprecedented. We have established more platforms where the Police and Members of the public interface regularly.
v A total of 104 suspects were arrested for various offences across the State, ranging from cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, child stealing/selling and other crimes. Most of the suspects have been charged to court while others are under investigation.
v Two AK 47 rifles with three magazines and eighteen rounds of live ammunition was recovered.
v One Assault rifle
v Two Pump Action
v One Berretta pistol with eight rounds of live ammunition
v 8 Locally made pistols and 1 single barrel gun with 12 live cartridges were recovered.
v One Toyota Avalon Car, one Lexus Jeep, one Toyota corolla and one Toyota Camry were recovered.
v A cash sum of Two Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy Thousand (#2,870,000) was recovered.
v Just this morning our special Anti-kidnapping team arrested 4 kidnappers at Etim Ekpo and recovered 2 locally made pistols.
v It will interest you to know that we have finally arrested the notorious gang responsible for series of Bank related robberies in the State.
The suspects, namely: Hycent Loveday Bright; Menford Austine John; and John Usam Chibueze where arrested on 3/11/2017 at about 1415hrs, at Eket, following a sustained monitoring. Our Team at Eket received a distress call that of a robbery in progress at Food affairs, opposite First Bank, Eket. One Nkerewen Bassey Akpan withdrew the sum of One Million Naira (#1m) cash from First Bank Eket and was trailed and blocked by the suspects and robbed of the said amount withdrawn. Items recovered from them include: One Toyota Avalon Reg. No. NCH 28 ST with ignition key: Cash sum of #521,300.00; One Techno phone; Different ATM Cards, etc. The ring leader, Hycent Loveday Bright based in Eket, while the other gang members always come from Rivers State.
Let me use this opportunity to thank the Government and people of Akwa Ibom state for their support to the Nigeria Police and indeed other security agencies towards reducing crime to barest minimum. Together we can continue to make Akwa Ibom safe and secure. Thank you and God bless you.
CP ZUBAIRU MUAZU
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
AKWA IBOM STATE COMMAND