Police, Youths Bicker Over Alarming Rate Of Extra-Judicial Killings In A’Ibom

Police, Youths Bicker Over Alarming Rate Of Extra-Judicial Killings In A’Ibom

BY INIOBONG SUNDAY, UYO

As the yuletide season draws near, there has been heightened tempo of violent crimes across the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom state with cultism fueling cases of kidnapping, armed robbery, rape and child thefts.

Within the Uyo metropolis, checks by our Correspondent revealed that armed cultists have resorted to armed robbery, burglary of shops and stealing of babies for sale to willing buyers, especially  childless couples, ritualists and spiritualists who run healing homes,
Such healing homes operated by those who believe they are possessed with spiritual powers to heal and to command good luck to unsuspecting members of the public, our Correspondent gathered, dots the entire landscape of Uyo, Itam and other areas of the state.

And for immediate profits, the idle youths, who are mostly into different secret confraternities, have cashed in to defraud innocent members of the public, forcing the formation of local vigilantes as the crime rates increase.

To curb the alarming trend of criminalties, the youths have taken the laws into their own hands by lynching anyone suspect caught in crime within the Uyo metropolis.

In the recent times, checks revealed that no fewer than 10 criminal suspects have been set ablaze, as the Police appears helpless in addressing the situation for peace in the state.

Worried by frequent cases of extra-judicial killings of suspected criminals in last the couple of months, the Akwa Ibom state Police Command has warned angry youths against taking the laws into their hands by lynching the suspects.

This followed the arrest and instant setting ablaze of two armed gunmen by angry youths after a failed bid to rob a Point of Sale (POS) attendant of N300,000 at Ikot Oku Ikono, Abak road in Uyo Local Government Area on Thursday.

Therefore, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Amiengheme Andrew, in a statement on his behalf by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Odiko Macdon, at the weekend, condemned the act, saying it was unlawful and a travesty of justice.

“Such acts are a travesty of justice, capable of undermining public order and are totally unacceptable as it has no place in our criminal justice administration”, the CP said, adding that the rights to life and fair hearing remain the inalienable rights of all including suspected criminals.

He listed other extra-judicial killings in the state in the recent times to include the lynching of a nursing mother at Okpokpo market on the outskirt of Uyo, over allegation of missing N2,000 and the killing of a suspected electric cable vandal around Ebong Essien by Ikpa road.

“These trends are totally unacceptable and the perpetrators of such acts should be apprehended and made to face justice”, the CP ordered.

But in a swift reaction, some youths, who have formed themselves into vigilance groups along Ikpa road, Urua Ekpa, Ibiam and other adjoining streets on the metropolis, told newsmen that their resort to jungle justice stemmed from alleged compromise by Police operatives in the state.

Speaking to Neswmen, the leader of the group, who would not want his name mentioned, accused the Police of not living up to expectations in societal policing.

“Because of the fact Police appear to have compromised on their job of effective policing, we have to take the laws into our hands and administer justice that would not allow us to sleep.

“The whole of Ikpa road, Urua Ekpa, Idak Okpo and Afaha Oku, as a whole are the adjoin communities to the University of Uyo, with large student population residing there.

“Cases of rape of students going to night classes including stealing of laptops, phones, cash and other personal belongings are very rampant here. And each time we call the Police, they would arrive soon after the crime had been committed.

“Some other time, when cases of bugling students’ homes occur and we call the Police, they come blowing their siren for the criminals to escape.

“In many cases, we would apprehend the suspects and handed them over to the Police, but few days after, the same criminal would be seen walking free on the street and perpetrating the same crimes.

“The youths’ leader of Urua Ekpa axis of Itam in Itu Local Government Area, Comrade Edet, was shot dead by criminals recently, but up till now, nothing had been heard in that aspect. So, that is why we had to organize ourselves to protect the society”.


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