…Insecurity in S’South: Explosion rocks Wike’s father’s church
…3 suspects arrested
…C’River monarchs threaten native sanction against criminals
By Egufe Yafugborhi, Emma Una & Chioma Onuegbu
POLICE in Rivers State have arrested three suspects after an explosion suspected to be detonated dynamite, rocked the Azikwe Street, Diobu, Port Harcourt site of the Christian Universal Church International, a denomination founded and presided over by father of Governor Nyesom Wike as overseer.
The arrest of the suspects was confirmed by Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan just as traditional rulers in Cross Rivers State yesterday threatened to invoke native sanction on criminals to stem the tide of insecurity in the state.
A tragic incident was also recorded in Akwa Ibom State as a middle-aged woman, Mary Imewe, was arrested by the police for slaughtering her own mother, identified as Eka Ime.
Confirming the arrest of three persons linked to the bomb explosion at Governor Wike’s father’s church, CP Mukan told our correspondent that the suspects are undergoing interrogation.
“Yes, there was an attempt to bomb the church premises and three suspects have been arrested. They are in our custody, undergoing interrogation,” Mukan said.
Vanguard gathered that some hoodlums had stormed the church located at 25 Azikiwe street, Mile 2, Diobu, Port Harcourt at night and detonated some explosives believed to be dynamite.
The development stalled service at the worship centre as members were refused entry into the premises by the police.
Collins Johnbull, Assistant Chief Security Officer, Azikwe Security volunteers whose team upstaged and arrested the hoodlums before handing them over to the police, narrated that before the incident on Saturday night, his team had repelled an earlier attempt to invade the Governor’s father’s church during the #EndSARS protests.
In his account of the incident, Johnbull said, “Yesterday (Saturday) we observed some strange movement around 8, 9pm. Some strange faces, about five, entered the Governor’s father’s church.
“We initially felt they were having normal evening programme. They may have been members of the church, but the manner they walked into the place was suspicious. We weren’t comfortable with their presence so we were alert.
“Not up to five minutes after their entry, we had a deafening sound like an explosion, so we immediately approached the place. They started jumping out, masked with guns in their hands.
“They started running and shooting at my men but we were undeterred. We had taken all the risks, determined to apprehend them. Some of our men, including Akanimor who was hit with a gun by one of the suspects, are receiving medical attention at the Life Care Hospital right now.
“I am appealing to the public, the governor especially, to intervene in strengthening us in our selfless task of securing our neighborhood.
“This is not the first time Azikwe Security is coming out for this church. During the #EndSARS protests, hoodlums attempted invasion of this church and we put our lives on the line to repel them also.
“Fortunately, on this occasion, we were able to capture three of the hoodlums. So I am pleading to the public, appealing to the Governor to come to our aid. We need medical attention right now.
Uche Brown, another member of the Azikwe Security said, “They actually threw dynamite into the church. We apprehended three and called for backup before police and vigilante came in and the Mayor of Port Harcourt also rushed in.”
In a related development, traditional rulers in Cross River at the weekend, threatened to invoke native sanctions against criminals who have been terrorizing the state in the recent times.
In a statement under the aegis of Cross River Traditional Rulers Council and signed by its Chairman, Etiyin Etim Okon Edet, the monarchs said they are angry with the alarming incidents of kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and other forms of criminality taking place in the state particularly in Calabar, the state’s capital.
In the statement which was made available to journalists in Calabar, the traditional rulers said “In keeping to our role as Ambassadors of Peace and custodians of tradition; and in support of the government and people of the state, we wish to inform the public, that we would invoke Native and Traditional Sanctions to serve as deterrence against the perpetrators of kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminalities and social vices in our dear State.”
The monarchs stated further that consequent upon the continuous violation of public peace in the aftermath of the #EndSARS riots and other challenges in the state, their efforts shall take the Council to the 18 local government areas of the state to invoke the sanctions.
In Akwa-Ibom State, a middle-aged woman Mary Imewe, a native of Ikot Obong Edong village in Ikot Ekpene local government was arrested at the weekend by the police for slaughtering her own mother identified as Eka Ime.
Sources from the area said the incident happened on November 27, 2020 at Umoh Obot Road, off Nto Akpan Inyang Street Ikot Ekpene LGA.
It was gathered that before the arrival of the police at the scene, the elders of the community made the suspected murderer to pack the dismembered body of her mother into a basin, carry it on her head and walk round the whole community.
An eyewitness noted that the suspect who was later tied up and bundled into the awaiting police van with the basin containing the body parts of the mother, didn’t show any remorse over her action.
The eyewitness who did not mention his name said, “She said she didn’t care if police was arresting her or not”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Odiko MacDon who confirmed the incident yesterday, disclosed that the suspect is in custody.
MacDon who explained that no right thinking person would slaughter her own mother gruesomely, said the police would conduct a test on the suspect to ascertain her state of mind before she is prosecuted.
His words, “The story is shocking. She butchered her mother. We are suspecting that she is not of sound mind, but we do not have any medical capacity yet to say so.
“Medical personnel will have to determine if she is of sound mind, because no right thinking person will kill her own mother by butchering her. As we speak, we have her in our custody. We have gathered the parts of her mother’s body and deposited in the mortuary.
“By the time we ascertain her state of mind we will charge her accordingly. We have conducted preliminary investigation and more discreet investigation is on the way and she will be charged to court immediately after that.”