Mr. Sunday Okoro Ukwejemifor popularly known as (G1), alleged to have been unjustly detained by the police, is said to be a notorious criminal and leader of the dreaded White Ladder cult group, a police source has revealed.
Findings show the said “G1” has been on the watch list of security operatives since 2009 as a result of his alleged involvement in kidnapping, arson, unresolved murder and armed robbery among others.
He was reportedly arrested along with six others namely Ayomanor Tobore, Romeo Okoro, Precious Oghaje, Blessing Isaba, Eseoghene Ogheneovo and Iwarri Mosco by a crack team of Policemen from Force Headquarters Abuja, on Wednesday last week over alleged assassination attempt on one Mr Sunny Nwakego.
Nwakego, according to findings is a Special Assistant on Security Matters to Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
Reports say the said “G1” allegedly hired five hitmen from Port-Harcourt, Rivers State to kill the said Nwakego, but luck ran out of them, leading to the arrest of three of the suspects, while two others are at large.
According to a senior police source in Edo State Police Command where they are currently been detained, who spoke to one of our correspondent anonymously, a confessional statement by the three earlier arrested suspects led to the arrest of Okoro and six others.
He explained that Okoro, and six others arrested suspects are currently being interrogated while moves are on to track down other flying suspects in connection with the case.
“Mr Okoro arrest followed a confessional statement made by three suspects who were earlier arrested following intelligence by some of our men in Sapele. On further interrogation, they confessed that Mr Sunday Okoro, (G1) hired them from Port-Harcourt, Rivers State to kill one Mr Sunday Nwakego.”
“As we speak, the investigations are ongoing, though there has been pressure from top politicians from Delta State for the case to be transferred to the state, I can assure you that we will be very fair and thorough in this matter. If at the end of the investigations; we found out that they have no case to answer, so be it, but we shall certainly not succumb to pressure,” he added.
Mr Okoro was allegedly fingered in the gruesome murder of late Oghenebrorhine Lucky Tetebe on October 17th, 2009 who was killed for allegedly reporting him to the police for his alleged involvement in armed robbery.
He was also allegedly accused of killing Akpojevughe Miller Tikaraye on August 2009 for refusing to join White Ladder cult group and one Mr Saturday Agbamu in February 2nd, 2011 over a misunderstanding.
Recall that following the tension generated by the said Okoro and his gang, Okirighwre community youths numbering over 50 on August 29, 2015, stormed Asaba, the Delta State Capital, protesting against the activities of a cult group known as White Ladder in Okirighwre community, Sapele Local Government Area of the state.
The protesters blamed the numerous cases of murders, arson and kidnapping since 2009 on the cult group.
Defying the heavy downpour, the protesters marched on the Delta State Ministry of Justice where they tendered a petition to the office of the Department of Public Prosecution demanding an investigation into the alleged murder, arson and kidnapping cases against the group led by one Okoro alias G1.
They accused some politicians of the ruling PDP in the state of being behind the cultists who allegedly worked for their election victories.
Recall that on, June 05, 2016, the said Mr Sunday Okoro and four of his boys engaged men of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Force Headquarters Abuja, who came to arrest him in a gun duel leading to the death of one of his gang member simply identified as Niteman.
The dreaded cult leader was subsequently arrested at Abuja, but was, however, left off the hook following the intervention of a prominent politician from Sapele who allegedly used Mr Okoro in the 2015 generation.
Mr Okoro instead of facing prosecution following his arraignment in cult-related crime in Sapele, at the Magistrate Court 1V, with case file charge number is MS 193C, asked the court presided over by Magistrate O. C Usiata, on June 02, 2016, for two adjournments through his counsel to travel to India for medical attention, which was granted, but was said to have remained in the town terrorizing witness to the case, a source said.
The case was later thrown out for lack of diligent prosecution. He was later appointed after 2015 general election as Special Assistant on Security Matters to Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, a position he still retains till date.
Meanwhile, in an earlier petition to the Inspector General of Police, one of the lawyers to the detainees, Stanley Imhanruor, claimed that the suspects who were arrested on September 9, 2020, by 15 heavily-armed policemen, were unjustly detained.
Imhanruor accused Nwakego of using the police to dubiously harass, intimidate and lock up elders and sons of Okirighwre community in the state and in particular Okoro.
He said, “The men claimed to be acting on the instruction of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and Deputy Commission of Police, Abba Kyari, that no lawyer, doctor or family member of our clients should be granted access to them in custody and for that reason they further claimed that they were not answerable to anyone including the Commissioner of Police, Edo State, or Deputy Commissioner of Police, CID, Edo. True to their egregious declaration, the team members blatantly ignored the adjuration and appeal of the DC CID, Edo State Police Command, to allow lawyers, doctors or family members of the suspects access to them.
“From operational experiences, it is doubtful that officers in the calibre of the IGP or DCP Abba Kyari would give such unprofessional and illegal directive that is bound to paint the image of the Force in bad light before the global community. We are therefore tempted to give the IGP and DCP Abba Kyari the benefit of the doubt in the circumstances until they fail to call the overzealous team members to order by reason of this release.
“Meanwhile, it is noteworthy to state that Romeo Okoro (who is the son of the principal target – Mr. Sunday Okoro) and two others arrested and detained incommunicable along with our other clients in the unfortunate and deadly operation by the police team are juveniles who had no connection whatsoever with the purported complaint by Mr Sunday Nwakego who is leveraging on his position as an influential Senior Special Assistant on Security Matters to the Delta State governor to intimidate and harass members of the Okirighwre community and in particulate Mr Okoro in his bid to cause the latter who is seen and rightly so by members of the Okirighwre community as the mouthpiece against injustice and oppression in that community.
“More disturbing is the fact that the members of the police team refused to give any of their names or phone numbers to the legal team and as it stands the identity of the team leader or Investigating Police Officer is unknown to the legal team and our client’s respective families.
“We are worried that the lives of our clients are in grave danger having regard to the refusal of the team members to reveal the identity of their leader or Investigative Police Officer to the legal team or grant access to our clients in their custody. In the event that our clients disappear from the radar and or are uncountable for by the police, let it be known to the whole world that our clients were arrested and detained incommunicable since the 9th day of September, 2020 by a team of policemen purportedly from the IRT acting on the directive of the IGP and DCP Abba Kyari at the instigation of Mr Sunny .Nwakego.”