A former councillor in Uvwie Council, and two others have been arrested by soldiers for alleged armed robbery in Delta state.
The suspects simply identified as Messer Lucky Adibu, Prince Adibu and Victor Achi were apprehended after they allegedly robbed a commercial tricycle operator, identified as Abraham Ofarn and his passengers near Sun-Set Street in Effurun, near Warri.
Eyewitness disclosed that soldiers on guard duty along Okoribi road in Uvwie Local Government Area arrested the suspects.
The suspects were rounded up by the Soldiers after they allegedly robbed and shattered the windshield of commercial tricycle with Registration number BKW 364 UC.
The Soldiers also recovered a locally made pistol from the suspects at the scene of the incident.
Also arrested is an aide to Delta State Governor, Napoleon Adibu.
Napoleon who is a serving member of the Delta State Waterways Security Committee was arrested for allegedly defending the suspects because two of them are his younger brothers.
The said Napoleon and the suspects were arrested during the monthly sanitation exercise in Uvwie on Saturday.
The victim of the robbery suspects, Abraham Ofarn claimed that the suspects robbed and dispossessed him of his mobile phone and unspecified amount of money alongside that of his passengers at about 8:am stressing, “They break my wind screen”.
But the suspects denied the allegations levelled against them insisting that they are members of a local vigilante group at Otokporo II in Uvwie Local Government Area.
One of them, Victor Achi stated that they participated in the monthly sanitation exercise shortly after they returned from their Security work overnight.
Achi claimed that while the sanitation exercise was ongoing, a certain unidentified man slapped him and he retaliated with a punch.
“So, I had to go back and keep the gun I use for security. Along the line before the Army came. We are vigilante members in Otokporo II. We are not armed robbers. We are members of PCRC, Ebrumede”, he said.
Achi claimed that the locally made pistol recovered from them is an old gun kept in his late father’s house.
While noting that they (suspect) almost lost a vigilante member due to insecurity of the area, Achi said, “We use this gun to ‘tension’ the criminals away. The area was full of threat. That’s the reason why we carry this gun. We are not criminals. We are just security”, he insisted.
Meanwhile, report says, the Soldiers refused to hand the suspects to the Ebrumede Divisional Police Officer, CSP Mohammed Shuaibu and his men for investigation and prosecution saying that their commander has to be present before doing that.
It was clear if the suspects have been handed over to the police as at press time.
Uvwie Local Government Council Chairman, Hon. Tega Ramson Onoyake who was at the scene of the incident, told newsmen that his administration will not shield any criminal and their nefarious activities in Uvwie land.
“The truth is that, I was called upon that they caught some persons with locally made pistol. So, I decided to go and see for myself. Getting to that place, I find out that one of the relative of the suspect was trying to see if he can allow them to go.
“So, I quickly called upon the DPO in charge of that area. The Ebrumede DPO. And as God would have it, he was there to see for himself. Before I left there, (presently) they have carried those guys to the Army Barracks and they promised that after their activities, they will hand them over to the police to investigate and proceed from there.”
Hon. Onoyake advised parents to always caution their children against crime and criminality before they graduate into armed robbers, kidnappers, prostitutes and others.
“I will not listen to any parent in case any of their children is caught in this kind of act. Parents should sit tight, call their children to order, find out what they’re really doing for a living or where they go at odd hours so that it will not get to this stage. I am very sure in situations like this, I don’t compromise. ”
Contacted, the Delta State Acting Police Public Relations Officer,DSP Andrew Aniamaka did not pick his calls neither did he responded to text message put across to him.
Meanwhile, a Mobile Court Presided Over by Helen Okonkwo Ikeh in Uvwie fined about sixty eight persons for flouting the environmental exercise in the area.
While nobody was convicted, the fine on the offenders is a warning to the people that it is no longer business as usual as serious measures will be taken against offenders.
The Uvwie Council boss stated that there is a great change compared to previous sanitation exercise in the area especially with the use of a mobile court.
He assured that henceforth, the mobile court will always sit during sanitation exercise adding “I also notice that the other end of the town, at the PTI, Airport axis, serious movement were still going on all through the exercise. So, we are looking at having three more mobile courts to work effectively. ”
The council boss said his greatest challenge is the dumping of refuse on median along the DSC Expressway to Effurun Roundabouts down to Chevron yard in Warri and therefore appealed to residents to stop dumping refuse on the median.