By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT—Three persons allegedly involved in the killing of nine police officers of Rivers State Police Command were, yesterday, arraigned before a Port Harcourt Magistrate’s Court.
The accused, Odum Atokaritou, Napughi Duba and Godgift Gwenbe were also accused of being involved in different bank robberies, which resulted in the death of at least 10 persons including the nine policemen.
The suspects and others, who are now at large, are facing 18 counts of conspiracy, murder, robbery and kidnapping.
The accused persons were alleged to have killed ASP Bamidele Mohammed, who is attached to Sterling Bank, Port Harcourt; Inspector Austine Moore, Corporal Prince Tigbara, Inspector Jonah Oletu, who are officers at Elekahia Police Station in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The suspects are also accused of being involved in the killing of Inspector Peter Olavoghokere, Corporal Paul Nnaa, Inspector Dennis Akpan, Sergeant Ekwere Epoulo, Corporal Okougor Nyambi, and Mr. Femi Oloukun, the Regional Manager of Sterling Bank.
Similarly, the suspects are accused of being responsible for the kidnap of Miss Nkechi Chika, who is the Director of Pre-Pay Hotel, Eagle Island, Port Harcourt and only released the victim after receiving N10 million ransom.
They were also accused of attacking a bullion van carrying $400,000, belonging to Sterling Bank Plc in Port Harcourt.
The suspects were believed to be among the criminals that stole N350 million from Diamond Bank in Trans-Amadi and N24 million at Fidelity Bank, GRA Branch.
When the matter was called, the trial magistrate, M. F. Poromon, referred the case to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, for legal advice.
The court could not take pleas, but Poromon adjourned the case till November 28 for legal advice from the DPP, while he ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.