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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has accused the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police of engaging in kidnapping and armed robbery in the state.
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The governor, who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, alleged that the SARS Commander, Mr Akin Fakorede, was planted in the state to sabotage the security architecture of Rivers and create an atmosphere of fear.
Wike alleged, “Most of the kidnappings and armed robberies taking place in this state are done by men of SARS. They use exhibit vehicles to operate. As the Chief Security Officer of the state, you complain, but they choose to play politics with crime.
“They fight crime in some states but they refuse to fight crime in Rivers State. We are done with the elections, but they are using SARS to create insecurity in the state. As I speak with you, they will deny.
“But the SARS operative, who was killed, was amongst those who raided the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre. This man can be identified in the video as one of those who invaded the collation centre with Fakorede.”
The governor contended that the deliberate acts of violence being perpetrated by the police had been planned as part of the rigging process for 2019.
“I have never seen a country where they politicise crime. It is very obvious that they want to give the impression that Rivers State is unsafe. They want to instil fear preparatory to declaring during the elections that there are so many killings.
“Authorities deliberately trying to destroy a whole state and you want the people to be happy. I will no longer write (to the IGP). Now is the time to take my case to the public for the whole world to know what is happening,” Wike added.
The governor maintained that his administration had invested more than any other in security logistics and lamented that the police were working against the state.
However, an official police signal with the title ‘Police wireless message’ with reference number DT0: 121030/09/2017 –INGENPOL-X-FHQ ABUJA TO-INGENPOL SEC ABUJA, noted that the squad received a distress call by one Mr Ifeanyi and immediately swung into action.
The copy of the signal shown to newsmen also indicated that the IGP’s Special Squad met three SARS operatives in an armed robbery operation before a gun battle began.
The operatives, according to the signal, had taken the kidnap victim (Ifeanyi) to a Fidelity Bank ATM, where they compelled him to withdraw N500,000 as ransom.
One of the SARS operatives was killed during the shootout with the IGP’s Special Squad while Inspector Justice Nyeche, who led the IGP team was injured.
Inspector Nyeche was said to be currently recuperating in an undisclosed hospital.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, said he would soon speak to our correspondent on the matter.
He, however, had not called back as of the time of filing this report.