A larmed by the spate of criminal activities especially cultism and other nefarious acts in Benue State, the police command has launched a renewed onslaught on the perpetrators. The new offensive was spearheaded by the Commissioner of Police, Christopher Katso who recently declared ‘Operation No Hiding Place’ for criminals.
Until recently, cultists had virtually taken over the state killing and maiming their targets at will any time of the day or night.
This development had hitherto made the people of the state who were fast losing confidence in the ability of the police to protect them with no other option than to leave their protection in the hands of God.
But just while criminals thought they were having a field day, the police command suddenly came alive and obviously on top of its game in the fight against all forms of criminality and violent crimes.
And with this renewed crackdown on perpetrators of violent crime in parts of the state, 45 suspected cultists and armed men have been arrested by the command white assorted fire-arms, live ammunitions, military camouflage and charms were also recovered from the dare-devils.
Speaking with Crimewatch in his office, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Daniel Ezeala disclosed that the crackdown has also led to the arrest of a pastor and four others for questioning by the command for trafficking in an eight-month old baby. Three of the suspects were arrested in Kano while two others were caught in Makurdi.
Crimewatch gathered that trouble started when a 19-year old single mother, Aladi Abbah, who resides at Ugbokolo in Okpokwu Local Government area of Benue State, was allegedly persuaded by her female neighbour (names withheld) to sell off her eight months old baby to raise money to improve her fortune.
The police spokesman explained further that after intense persuasion and looking at that she could gain from the sale of her baby, the single mother agreed. Both of took the baby to Kano where they found a buyer who paid N200,000.
He stated that both returned to Makurdi where a minor disagreements ensued over the sharing formula of the proceeds from the sale of the baby.
“But it was not until the mother of the ‘sold’ baby travelled back to the village at Ugbokolo and was confronted by her aged father who enquired about the whereabouts of his grandchild that the truth of the matter as made revealed.
When her father asked her, she lied to him, saving that she lost the child in Kano where she had gone to attend a crusade.
But not satisfied with her explanations, her aged parents alerted the police who apprehended her and after serious interrogation, Aladi made a confessionary statement which also led to the arrest of her accomplice.
The suspects were brought to the command headquarters in Makurdi on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, Katso who also ordered further interrogation into the matter.
Daily Sun Thursday, July 26, 2012
From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi