The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Tunde Ogunsakin, has disclosed that the state police command has arrested no fewer than 814 kidnap and robbery suspects in the state between February and April, this year.
He also said the figure excluded an additional 11 suspects recently arrested and who were paraded by the police boss at the state police headquarters, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
Briefing newsmen on the activities of the police under his command, Ogunsakin said over 35 kidnap victims, including the chairman of Ahoada West Local Government Area of the state, Mr Awori Miller, were rescued from suspected kidnappers.
He said Miller, who had been in the kidnappers’ den since May 3, was freed at about 3.00 a.m. on Monday, adding that the command had recorded a reduction in kidnapping incidents by about 49 per cent in the last three months, with a total of 31 cases, as against 21 cases recorded in January alone.
The police boss also said that there were efforts by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to arrest armed robbers in the state, adding, “Statistically speaking, a rise in apprehension to the measure of 250 per cent has been recorded, with 27 armed robbers apprehended in February, as against only two arrests made in January.”
A further breakdown of the feats achieved within the period under review, he said, included a total of 181 cases recorded in February, of which 257 suspects were arrested.
He added that 98 cases were charged to court alongside 175 suspects; 33 suspects were convicted, 78 are awaiting trial, while 36 were discharged and acquitted.
“In March, a total of 171 cases were recorded of which 213 suspects were arrested. Of these, 99 cases were charged to court alongside 166 suspects, out of which 36 suspects were convicted; 72 are awaiting trial, while 16 were discharged and acquitted.”
“In April, a total of 198 cases were recorded of which 344 suspects were arrested. Of this number, 128 cases were charged to court alongside 243 suspects, out which 84 suspects were convicted; 135 are awaiting trial, while 24 were discharged and acquitted,” he said.
Ogunsakin disclosed that within the period, the command recovered 1,115 arms and ammunition from suspects, vowing that the police would not relent in fighting criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“I want to restate my mission here in Rivers State, which is to make the state uncomfortable for criminals, while upholding the tenet of protecting lives and property.
“All evil doers within the state should repent or be ready to feel the iron hand of a well-positioned police command. We will never stop, we will not waiver, we will not go weary and we will never say never in our fight against evil,” he stressed.