By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
OPERATIVES of Special Weapons And Tactics Squad, SWAT, Akwa Ibom State Police command has gunned down a 24-year-old serial killer and armed robber identified as Malachi Friday Uwem.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Odiko MacDon who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Uyo, said Malachi Uwem and two of his members were gunned down on Thursday April 28, 2022 while trying to escape.
MacDon explained that when the SWAT squad traced the hoodlums to their hideouts in Cross River State, they resisted arrest and engaged the operatives in a gun duel.
He also explained that the hoodlums have been terrorising some Akwa Ibom communities in the past six months, and killing, maiming and robbing their victims, mostly females.
He stated: “In the last six months, the Residents of Use Ntuen, Okobo Ibiono and Ikot Ambang in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, Itu and Ikot Ekpene local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State and part of Uyo have lived in palpable fear of a dreaded serial killer and armed robber, one Malachi Friday Uwem (24).
“The said Malachi and gang have killed over 15 persons and has left some of his victims permanently maimed, some presently in hospitals, while others are counting their losses from his barbaric robbery acts, which has led to the closing of many businesses, especially POS, in these places.
“It would be recalled that on 20/2/22, the notorious armed Robber and serial killer robbed and shot one Miss Lovina Eze Chiwendu, a Youth Corps member at Ikot Ambang and made away with her iphone, ATM card and the sum of Seven thousand baira.
She died last week at Enugu Teaching Hospital.
“Also, on 21/2/22, the suspect robbed and killed a lady teacher returning from school at Okobo Ibiono who had stopped over at a POS shop, this resulted to a protest by Youths of the area who blocked the Uyo/Ikot Ekpene Expressway.
“Several POS shops and filling stations have been robbed by the suspect and his gang at Okobo Ibiono, Itak axis and Uyo. Furthermore, on 5/3/22, one Mrs Idongesit Damson was shot and killed in her house at Okobo Ibiono by Malachi. He also shot one Wisdom, which led to a protest and blockage of the Uyo/Ikot Ekpene Expressway.
“Only recently, on Monday, 25th April, he shot and killed two young men on the grounds that the village couldn’t meet his demand of twenty million naira (20m), but were only able to raise the sum of five million naira”
The PPRO listed the Exhibits Recovered from the hoodlums to include, one Cut to Size Pump Action Gun, One Locally made Pistol, a
large number of cartridges, one Gas Head with a resemblance of a Gun and assorted types of charms.
He reiterated that the Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr Andrew Amiengheme was committed to his vow to spare no resources in ridding the state of criminal elements, and warned those involved in heinous crimes to relocate from the state as there is no hiding place for them henceforth.
“Therefore, on the marching order and close supervision of the CP, today April 28th, 2022 at about 0300hrs, in a painstaking operation, Operatives of Special Weapons And Tactics Squad (SWAT) of the Command led by CSP Julian Igbudu, traced the hoodlums to their hideouts at Ikang in Akpabuyo Local Government Area Of Cross River State.
“The said Malachi Friday Uwem, his second in command Wisdom Sunday Akpan (3), Ndifreke Sunday Ebong (20), and Annansia Umoh (33) resisted arrest and engaged the Operatives in a gun duel, and in the ensuing milieu, three of the gang members were fatally injured while attempting to escape.
“The CP Akwa Ibom State is thankful and congratulates the personnel of SWAT, other Tactical Teams, the Government, the Intelligence community, and the good people of Akwa Ibom State.
“He emphatically warned, that Akwa Ibom State can never be safe a haven for hoodlums as the command under his watch will continue to spare no resources in bringing perpetrators to book.