*To tackle cultism, kidnaping, murder and Stealing
Okon Bassey in Uyo
A new police crime unit code name ‘Operation Impact’ has been launched by the Akwa Ibom State Police Command to check cultism, kidnap for ransom, murder and stealing identified as most prevalent crimes committed in the state.
The newly posted Commissioner of Police to the State, Don Awunah who disclosed this at his maiden press briefing held at the State Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan-abia, Uyo said Operation Impact is a crime reduction strategy of the command.
He explained that the new unit is aimed at ridding the state of armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, cultism and all other anti-social behavious.
Also, the section will apprehend all criminal elements, their collaborators, conduct a thorough, discreet investigation into their activities.
The unit, Awunah added will sustain a coordinate crackdown on crime and criminalities; and in respect of rule of law, arraign all proven cases in courts of competent jurisdiction.
According to him, few days after the launch of Operation Impact, 21 suspects in various crimes including kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, stealing, vanadalization and murder have been arrested.
The State Police boss said a notorious kidnap gang was smashed by operatives which led to the rescue of a Reverend Father of St. Michael Parish, Ikot Etim Village in Ukanafun local government area of the state on February 18, 2017.
The suspect, he said confessed on interrogation to have been behind many high profile kidnap cases in the state including, the kidnap of a lecturer in the State University and a political party stalwart.
Awunah listed exhibits recovered from him to include one AK-47 riffle, 5 rounds of 9mm ammunition, one locally made pistol, one Nissian Primera with registration no. GGE861 DO and the sum of N180, 000.
The Police Commissioner who said 21 prevalent cult groups have equally been identified in the state said security operatives acting on a tip off arrested six suspected cultists on February 12 and 14, 2017 while planning to unleash mayhem on innocent members of the public.
Awunah lauded the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel and immediate past Police Commissioner in the state, CP Murtala Mani for excellent security architecture put on ground before his assumption of duty.
“As there is no limit to improvement, we intend to raise the bar in our crime prevention and reduction strategy”, he stressed; adding that the policing objectives of the command will be anchored on the people and creative partnership.
“We wish to assure the good people of Akwa Ibom State and other members of the public, that the safety of their lives and property is paramount in the discharge of our duty.
“They are however enjoined to report all suspicious movement and persons to the police. All report will be treated with strict confidentiality.
“To the criminal elements, their days in criminal enterprise are numbered for there will be no hiding place in Akwa Ibom State as we are irrevocably committed in our onslaught against all criminal elements, their collaborators and sponsors”, the CP stated.