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Murder: Bayelsa community protests police arrest of six indigenes

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Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

Okoroba community in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has protested police arrest and continued detention of its six indigenes over alleged case of murder.

 The Okoroba community was recently enmeshed in a chieftaincy crisis over the alleged dethronement of its king, Chief Abraham Thomas, who is said to be an Assistant Commissioner of Police.

It was learnt that the detained indigenes were apprehended in connection with the death of a youth of the community.

 The names of the indigenes arrested and detained were given as Segboruesin Douglas, Romani Magnus, Blessing Dighabo, Soubere Ologhodien, Joel Golden and Iyobia Aguo.

But Okoloba community, in a statement on Thursday, accused the police of alleged bias and double standards in the arrest of the six persons, whom the community folks claimed were innocent.

It said that investigation into the alleged murder cleared the arrested persons and that an autopsy carried out on the deceased youth showed that he died from drowning.

The community in the statement by the Head of Agum Group of Houses, Chief Alawari Ajayi, and the Chairman of Okoroba Community in Yenagoa, Chief Eluan Bokolo, accused the police of allegedly protecting the factional interest of their colleague.

 It said, “These boys have been in detention since January without a charge being preferred against them. The autopsy was conducted at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa on April 22 and the result revealed that the deceased died of drowning and was not murdered as alleged.

 “The police have refused to release these youths even with the autopsy results. As a community, we have perfected the bail conditions, yet they were not released. Why the antics? It is obvious that the police are acting the script of ACP Abraham Thomas, the dethroned king.

 “The arrested persons were to be released when the cousin of the ACP arrived and met the Investigating Police Officer. The police thereafter alleged that there was another petition from the Inspector General of Police involving some of the boys and they have refused to disclose the content to us.

 “The community’s delegation waited after perfecting the bail conditions, yet there was no communication from the IGP office.

 “The Okoroba people are tax payers and the police are paid by every tax payer in Okoroba community. Why has the IG refused to act or minute on all the petitions of the Okoroba people over the activities of the ACP and his boys?

 “Why have the police refused to prosecute the criminal elements? Why did the police release other boys that are now terrorising the community by mere phone calls?”

The community, therefore, called on the IG to order a proper investigation into the matter.

 Calls to the spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, indicated that his mobile phone was switched off.

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