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Police fete detainees, suspects in Cross River

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar
03 January 2022   |   3:32 am
The Cross River State Police Command, on New Year day, celebrated and entertained detainees in its command.

The Cross River State Police Command, on New Year day, celebrated and entertained detainees in its command.
The rare celebration was organised by the Anti Kidnapping and Cultism Squad (AKCS), otherwise known as “Dragon Squad”, for detainees whose cases were still under investigation and awaiting completion of paperwork for onward appearance in court.
About 54 detainees, who were arrested for sundry crimes and in custody due to logistics and long holidays, were hosted to a sumptuous meal and an elaborate party by the Dragon Squad under Mr. Abdulhameed Awodi, a Superintendent of Police and his men on New Year day.
Besides the sumptuous meal, which they enjoyed, they serenaded themselves with good music, using local instruments.

The celebration, which started on December 25, climaxed on New Year day with some of the detainees participating in the cooking, while others led a gyration band to thrill visitors with good songs.
The Commissioner of Police, Aminu Alhassan, said that suspects and detainees have rights because they are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

According to him, the best way to motivate your men and boost their morale is to celebrate with them.
He said: “We also decided to celebrate with detainees in our cells, because they are social beings from various families, they also have rights to certain levels of temporary freedoms while in custody.

“As a father and humane entity, I decided to celebrate my officers and men in this tactical unit to appreciate their efforts in 2021 and charge them to do more this 2022, while celebrating with the detainees.”
The Commander of Dragon Squad, Awodi warned kidnappers in the state to either stop operations, leave the state or face the consequences.

Awodi, who was the brain behind the ceremony, said “detainees are human beings, no matter what they have done, the celebration was just a way to let them know that we understand that various circumstances brought them here so at this festive season, we have to celebrate with them.
He said: “My men and I have worked tirelessly to make sure we rid the state of all forms of criminality, we know that we cannot completely eradicate crime, but we can stem it to the barest minimum, which is what we have done in 2021.

“We are taking a different approach that I can’t discuss in public, but criminals in the state must understand that AKCS is out for them, better prepared and highly motivated than ever before, it’s either you stop kidnapping or you leave Cross River, because we will smoke you out.”

One of the detainees, Roland Ntoi said the command took them by surprise by bringing a lot of entertainers to give them treat.