Troops of Nigerian Army attached to “Operation Akpakwu” Security outfit formed by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River to tackle the surging wave of kidnapping and other forms of criminality have arrested a traditional ruler of Obufa Obio, Ekong Anaku Akan Esio Clan, Calabar South LGA of Cross River State.
The traditional ruler, Okon Essien was arrested for alleged involvement in kidnapping in Community Road off Jebbs Street, Calabar South in the metropolis.
Addressing journalists in Calabar, Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed, alleged that preliminary investigation revealed that the traditional ruler’s two sons were in charge of the kidnapping operations but now at large.
Speaking on behalf of the 13 Brigade Commander, while handing the suspected kidnapper alongside other other criminal /armed robbery suspects at the headquarters of 13 Brigade Nigerian Army Akim Barracks Calabar to the police , Officer Commanding 13 Brigade Provost, Major Stanley Ikpeme said they would be prosecuted after investigation by the police.
” You are please requested to furnish this office with the outcome of your investigation to enable us update our record,” he told the police.
Apart from the 45 years old traditional ruler, the army also arrested and paraded armed robbery suspects with charms purported to be used for robbery operations.
Among the criminal suspects arrested by the troops of Operation Akpakwu and handed over to the police include 26 years old master James Edet said to have dispossessed some members of his community around the Scanobo Filling station axis of their valuables.
The troops also arrested 23 years old Mr. Felix Helekpa said to be in possession of a locally made pistol, a cartridge and charms used to aid his robbery operations with other gang members now at large.
Others also arrested include 22 years Blessing Effiom suspected to be an informant that aides operations of a particular criminal gang.
In a brief interview, some of the suspects denied involvement in the crimes attributed to them.