BY UGOCHUKWU ALARIBE, ABA
The family of Pa Jeremiah Nwankwo of Abala community in Obingwa council area of Abia state has cried out over the whereabouts of their son, Daniel Nwankwo, a Police Sergeant attached to the Anti Kidnapping Unit of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command.
Sgt. Daniel with Force Number, (424092) and some of his colleagues were said to have been deployed to arrest a suspected criminal gang at Obot Ndom community in Etinan council area of Akwa Ibom state, on April 21, 2017. They were alleged to have been attacked by the gang. The family has accused the Police of hiding the incident from them.
Petition by family
In a petition signed by Daniel’s elder brother, Evangelist Chukwuemeka Nwankwo, and addressed to IGP Idris, the family lamented that several efforts to know the whereabouts of their son through writing letters, seeking audience with the then Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State, Don Awunah and the Officer in charge of Anti Kidnapping Unit of the Command, Superintendent of Police, Sadi Ado, proved futile as none of the letters were replied until Awunah and Ado, were transferred out of the Command. According to the petition,” Unconfirmed reports have it that Sgt. Daniel Nwankwo along with three of his colleagues, went on official assignment on Friday April 21, 2017 to Obot Ndom Community in Etinan local government area, Akwa Ibom state where they were overpowered by some criminal gang. Since then, Daniel has not been seen. There have been rumours that Daniel was killed in the operation and his obituary announced on facebook.
“It is disheartening to note that the Police have rebuffed all our efforts to know Daniel’s whereabouts and have continued to treat us with disdain. The deliberate silence of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has caused serious suspense and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty in the family. The health of our aged mother is deteriorating as a result of the situation. As a family, we are worried over the shabby treatment meted out to a Police officer on national assignment we wonder where lies the reward for patriotism. Daniel is a sportsman who has won several awards on Taekwando for the Police and Akwa Ibom State. We urge IGP Ibrahim Idris to use his good offices to help us unravel the mystery behind Daniel’s whereabouts.”
Foul play suspected
The family further stated that it suspected foul play and urged the Police find the missing Police Sergeant, dead or alive, stressing that the shabby manner in which the Police have handled the issue had left the family with many unanswered questions. “This is over four months that Daniel has been missing without police telling us what has happened to him. Why would the Police send a poorly equipped team to crack down such a criminal gang in a volatile Niger Delta area? Why should the Police keep the family in limbo over the whereabouts of their son? Why have they been shielding the other policeman and the injured police officer whom we learnt was rescued? Why did Police authorities hastily redeploy the two principal officers, CP Donald Awunah and Supol Sadi Ado, who sent Sgt. Daniel and his colleagues to crack the criminal gang?,” the family asked
Mother cries out
Speaking to Crime Guard, Daniel’s mother, Victoria Nwankwo, urged the Police to produce him, dead or alive. Mrs Nwankwo, 80, lamented that it was shocking that the police are yet to make any statement concerning the fate that may have befallen the missing policemen since four months ago. “The Inspector- General of Police should produce my son, dead or alive. This is over four months now that my son who is serving his fatherland is missing and the Police have not said anything. Is it a crime for one to serve his fatherland? We don’t know if the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State and the OC, Anti kidnapping unit was to cover the story of what happened to my son. The continued silence of the Police is suspicious.”