Thursday, 12 May 2016

Killer-bike Snatcher, Others Paraded By Police In Benue


Onlookers at the Benue State Police Command Headquarters, in Makurdi, capital of Benue State, expressed happiness when Ibrahim Sani, a suspected killer and motorcycle snatcher was paraded after his arrest.



The arrest of Sani, many residents of Makurdi metropolis expected, would put to rest to speculations making the rounds that motorcycle snatchers who have recently terrorised the state capital were spirits, not human beings.

There had been an uneasy calm in Makurdi town for the past two months with registered commercial motorcycle riders protesting the brutal killing of some of their colleagues by yet-to-be identified gunmen.

The motorcycle riders, popularly referred to as ‘Okada’ operators, blocked major roundabouts and access roads within the state capital with their bikes bearing green leaves and heavy objects, preventing vehicles from plying notable routes.

It would be recalled that in two weeks, four commercial motorcyclists lost their lives to the assassins who also made away with their motorcycles.

However, with the apprehension of Sani during the week, the police said they would eradicate the killer-bike snatchers syndicate.

The Benue State Commissioner of Police, Dibal Yakadi, who paraded the suspects among 15 others for committing various crimes in different parts of the state, said the command was determined to deal decisively with criminal elements in the state.

Represented by Moses Yamu, the command’s public relations officer (PPRO), he said that luck ran out of the suspected bike snatcher when security operatives on patrol around Lobi Quarters, in Makurdi, noticed an unusual struggle among three people over a motorcycle and went to find out what was the problem.

Yamu said that on sighting the police, two persons took to their heels while the other, who turned out to be the rightful owner of the motorcycle, was discovered bleeding profusely from a gunshot on one of his hands.

The policemen went after the suspects and apprehended Sani, he added.
The spokesman said the police were on the trail of Sani’s accomplice and those whom investigations have suggested were part of the notorious deadly syndicate, while the arrested suspect would soon be charged to court.

Speaking to newsmen, however, Sani denied his involvement in the alleged crime, saying that he was on his way home after spending the night at his uncle’s place in Maddibo, Wadata suburb of the town, a place near the spot of the incident, when the police accosted him for reasons yet unknown to him.

He said: “I closed from work about 9.00.p.m. and went to my uncle’s house in Maddibo. When I realised that it was late for me to return to my home in another part of the town, I decided to sleep there. I woke up in the morning and was returning to my house when the police arrested me on the road at Maddibo. I’m innocent because I don’t know what they are talking about.”

But, the victim, Benjamin Sokpo, identified Sani as, “the armed robber who shot me on the hand,” adding that he picked the suspect from an area of the town known as Zamar, to Lobi Quarters, around 9.00p.m. last Friday only to get the cruel surprise of his life.

Sokpo said: “I took the passenger (Sani) from Zamar to Lobi Quarters at 9.00p.m. But, unknown to me, the passenger had collaborated with a friend who was waiting at the point. When we got there, he shot me on the hand while his friend tried to collect my bike.

“We started struggling and it was at that point that the police suddenly came and helped me. The police arrested Sani but his friend ran away.”

Indeed, Sokpo was fortunate, unlike some of his colleagues who were mercilessly hacked to their early graves.
The case of late James Chambe stands as the most recent and happened at the High Level area in Makurdi.

Police said that the perpetrator, who might have posed as a passenger, could have cajoled the victim to the quiet area along Bauchi Crescent at High Level about 3 a.m. before shooting him and taking away his motorcycle.

The police command had consistently warned Okada operators to desist from doing their business at odd hours.

Chairman of Makurdi branch of the Benue State Motorcycle Riders Association (BEMOA), Austin Akaa, has identified James Chambe as his group’s member.

Akaa said that the victim had conveyed a criminal he probably thought was a passenger to Bauchi Crescent at the High Level around 3 a.m. where he was shot and his motorcycle taken.

He urged the state government to revert to the policy of the immediate past administration in the state which allowed commercial motorcyclists to ply their trade only between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, appealing to his colleagues to shun operating at odd hours.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued by Godwin Akor, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to Governor Samuel Ortom, in Makurdi, expressed the hope that the syndicate would soon be broken.


http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/crime/killer-bike-snatchers-arrested-in-benue/146406.html

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