June 11, 2009

Police kill bank robbery suspect in Bayelsa

By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—The police in Bayelsa State yesterday shot dead a bank robbery suspect while others were arrested over their involvement in indiscriminate shooting and illegal gun possession.

It was learnt that nemesis caught up with the robbery suspect when customers of a new generation bank provided information that led to detection of two armed bandits, suspected to be involved in the snatching of cash from unsuspecting customers of various banks in the capital city.

Parading the suspects,the Divisional Police Officer of Ekeki,  “B” Division, Mr. Nemi Iwo, described the assistance offered the police by residents of the state capital as timely and a sign that they were tired of criminal activities in the state.

Explaining how one of the suspected bank robbers was shot by his men around Ekeki area of the state capital, Iwo said the action of the public and the quick response of the police prevented what would have been a heist for the criminals.

He said the police received a call from concerned citizens about the noticeable actions of two suspects around a bank premises and alerted security agents.

According to him, “as the police patrol team approached the bank, the suspect took to his heels and shot at the patrol vehicle and was shot dead. The other suspect dropped his gun inside the drainage system and escaped.”

Eyewitness said a middle aged woman, who claimed to have been robbed the previous day, alerted passers-by of the identity of the men and consequently called in the police.

At Ikolo community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, natives of the community were reportedly frustrated by the alleged continued harassment of residents by youths suspected to be cultists and invited police to effect their arrest after a shooting spree that threw the town into panic.

According to the eyewitness, officers from ” A” Division of the Police command were alerted about the shooting incident and they moved into the community and arrested one of the suspects, identified as Obah Ekenebe.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State police command seemed to have dropped the attempted murder charge it was to slam against former Special Adviser to Bayelsa governor, Mr. Famous Daunemingha.

From the suit No: FHC/YNG/16C/2009 by the police read thus: “that you Famous Daunemingha on June 6, 2009 at No 42 Baybridge road Kpansia within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court had in your possession two pump action guns reasonably suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully obtained, thereby committed offence punishable under section 27(b)(i) of the Fire Arms Act CAP F.28 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

The police had initially planned to arraign Daunemingha on attempted assassination on the Senior Special Assistant to the Bayelsa Governor on Youth and Conflict Resolution, Mike Wenibowei, on June 4, 2009 in Yenagoa.

But in a dramatic twist, the police command shortly after briefing the press ostensibly due to its inability to establish the culpability of the suspect in the dastardly attack on Wenibowei, dropped an attempted assassination charge against him.

The police command had during a briefing, said it was trying to establish the culpability of Daunemigha currently being held over the attack.

Wenibowei was attacked last two weeks Thursday night by unknown gunmen who riddled his official Toyota Hilux with bullets allegedly fired from an AK 47 rifle.

According to the police, a total of 16 expended AK 47 rifle bullets were recovered from the scene of attack by security operatives.

Following the attack, three former Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) leaders, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, Oyinfie Jonjon and Famous Daunemigha were arrested over the incident, but the duo of Tuodolo and Jonjon were released later on self recognition, while Daunemngha was held behind bars since last Friday when the police arrested him.

However, Daunemigha was be arraigned yesterday (Thursday) at the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, by the police for illegal possession of two pump action guns allegedly recovered during a search on his premises.

Daunemingha was Governor Timipre Sylva’s Special Adviser on Youth and Mobilization but resigned on the first week of March, 2009.