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Tension in Ekpoma over alleged release of kidnap suspects

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BENIN—THERE are indications of restiveness in the University town of Ekpoma, administrative headquarters of Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State and its environs, over alleged sudden release of two out of six kidnap suspects arrested in the town.

Inhabitants of the town, including members of the academic community, traders and businessmen,  are said  to be living in fear over the matter.

Vanguard gathered that the suspects were said to have allegedly confessed to the crime while in
police detention.

According to an Ukpenu-Ekpoma community leader, Chief Fred Oshodin, no sooner were the duo (with one of them simply identified as Lucky) were released, than the cases of kidnapping resumed in an alarming dimension.

The community leader, who blamed the Police for what he termed the shoddy investigations which might have led to the alleged release of the suspects, claimed that the state Ministry of Justice did not help matters in allegedly recommending their release.

He warned that unless the Police and the Ministry close ranks, residents might be forced to resort to self-help to deal with the activities of the kidnappers.

However, sources at the Attorney-General’s office which oversees the Ministry of Justice denied knowledge of the release of the suspects, adding that the basis for their release depended on police investigations.
”Under section 211 of the constitution, the Attorney-General has powers to commence, takeover or discontinue prosecution and this is usually when the case is already in court.

“Before a matter gets to court we have what we call a holding charge; when the Police conclude investigations they charge the matter to the Magistrates’ court. They cannot prefer a charge in High court, so they send the file to the
Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP for advice,” the source said.

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