Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
At least three persons have been apprehended by the Bayelsa Police Command in connection with last Saturday’s assassination of four cattle dealers in the state.
Mr Amba Asuquo, Commissioner of Police in the state, told journalists in Yenogoa Monday that the suspects were being profiled while their telephone communication was also being scrutinised.
Jubril Abdulkarim, one of the biggest cattle dealers in the state who was also a member of the state Committee for the Management and Control of Ranches as well as three of his aides were shot dead at their private abattoir in Yenagoa. He was also the Chairman, Cattle Breeders Association (CBA) in the state.
Asuquo said: “We have so far taken three suspects into custody and we are profiling them and their communication.
“We are looking at their phone communications and from facts before us, it is an assassination done on close range and the people must have been known to them.
“We are equally looking at the leadership issues and election of the Fulanis. We are following the clues we have and I am hopeful we shall be able to have a breakthrough.”
Meanwhile, the police boss has bemoaned the dearth of proper detention facilities to hold suspects apprehended in its efforts at combating crime.
Amba stated that the police were making do with overcrowded makeshift cells, adding that he had even deployed his personal resources to provide an armoury for the command.
Amba explained that the pace of prosecuting suspects in the state was too slow and hence puts pressure on the limited police detention facilities for holding suspected criminals.
Several suspected criminals had at the weekend attempted to escape the police detention centre in the capital city, occurring after scores of suspects successfully broke out and escaped last month. It is not clear if all of them had been rearrested.
According to him the building housing the Police headquarters used to be a party secretariat built in the SDP-NRC days and later improvised to serve the accommodation needs of the police.
“The prompt alertness of other policemen around the area saved the situation. None of the suspects escaped but the fact of the matter is that we do not have proper detention facilities.
“It is a makeshift arrangement, an office with burglary proof; we were lucky to have averted this one but that does not mean that it will not happen again.
“The suspects can still plan another one, we desperately need to build proper detention facilities to hold suspects,” he said
“The number of cases awaiting advice and prosecution by the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) is alarming and I have drawn the attention of state authorities as well, ” Asuquo said.