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Police parade 10 suspects for kidnapping, robbery in Cross River

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The Cross River State’s new security outfit, Operation Akpakwu, yesterday, paraded 10 kidnapping, armed robbery, and rape suspects.

The state government disclosed that since the setting up of the security outfit two months ago, criminal activities have been on the decline, as no fewer than 20 kidnappers and other criminal elements have been arrested and their houses demolished.

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Briefing journalists in Calabar, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Sikiru Akande, warned criminals to either relocate from the state or be arrested and prosecuted.

He said: “The security situation in the state has already been taken note of and this can be achieved through strategic planning, community policing, partnership, problems solving, and organisational transformation for better and efficient service delivery.

“It is important to inform members of the public that I will strictly ensure the security of life and property and ass such, the command will wage relentless and serious onslaught on criminals in the state.

“We have created a robust intelligence network and platform with members of the public and private individuals for confidence building.”

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Akande disclosed that one Prince Okon Etim, who is second in command to a wanted notorious kidnapper popularly known as Romance, was also arrested along with the 10 suspects from January 18, 2021, when that he assumed duty and they will be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.

He said other criminals were arrested for robbery, rape, unlawful possession of firearms amongst sundry crime with locally made pistols, one locally-made pistol with six rounds of 9mm ammunition including other things.

While appealing to the Cross River people to cooperate with the police by providing information for maximum results, Akande assured residents of their safety.

“My task is to keep Cross River State safe. Light has come and we need to gainfully engage the youths and give them reorientation so that they can become more productive to build their capacity.

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“We are using technology to police the state so that before any crime is committed, it is nipped in the bud. There shall be no hiding place for criminals because they shall all be arrested,” he said.

Two twin duplexes and a brothel were among the property of high profile kidnap suspects and a child trafficker who specialises in using underage kids for prostitution that were demolished.

Governor Benedict Ayade said the exercise was part of the government’s warning when Operation Akpakwu was launched in December last year, saying any house found harbouring criminals would be demolished in continuation of the exercise started last year in Calabar with the demolition of over 15 houses.

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