The Police Command in Rivers State says its investigation indicate that the dismissed policeman, Johnbosco Okoroeze, deliberately aided the escape of suspected ritualist, Ifeanyi Dike.
Rivers State Police Commissioner Zaki Ahmed said this while giving the report on the arrests of suspected cultists, armed robbers, car snatchers as well as the recovery of stolen cars, arms and ammunition.
Dike had fled from police custody after he was arrested for allegedly raping and killing an eight-year-old girl in Rivers State.
But the Police Commissioner believes Okoroeze released him and raised the alarm after doing so.
He said that after thorough investigation, was discovered that the Okoroeze “carried a premeditated action and aided the escape of the suspect”.
“The said ex-Sergeant Johnbosco Okoroeze was tried in a Police Orderly Room Trial for which evidence tendered during the trial revealed that he unilaterally, in a premeditated action released the suspect to run before raising alarm of his escape,” Ahmed added.
Based on the investigation, the police authorities dismissed Okoroeze and arraigned him for being an accessory to murder; perverting the course of Justice; and permitting the escape of a murder suspect. He was subsequently remanded in prison custody.
The suspected ritualist’s escape led to outrage in Port Harcourt with some youths taking to the streets days after in protest, demanding that justice be done in the matter.
The police commissioner, in his address, called on the public to be patient and gave assurances that the command will soon re-arrest the escapee.
He said, “Information of his alleged escape from an IPO in the course of statement taking did not only leave a sour taste in the mouth of the command, but also created a dent in my avowed fight against crime and criminality.
“I am totally committed in seeing that the suspect is re-arrested and any person involved regardless of status in aiding the escape of the suspect will be arrested and if found wanton dealt with in accordance with the law.
“We are however close to re-arresting the suspect and I promise you, God willing, he will be re-arrested very soon.”