By Akpokona Omafuaire
THE General Overseer, Palace of God Bible Church, off Uti Road, Effurun, Delta State, Apostle Michael Akpor and two Policemen attached to him, Asp. Mesoro Victor and Inspector Ignatius Achazie, who were accused of killing two persons on Tuesday 12th July, 2022 at Ugbolokposo Community in Effurun, Delta State have been vindicated and exonerated.
This was the basis of an elaborate thanksgiving Apostle Michael Akpor, and the two Policemen held Sunday to appreciate God.
Human Rights Lawyer, Austin Nyekigbe, Esq, Counsel to the Pastor while briefing Journalists said that no case was proved against the accused persons after thorough police investigation.
The incident according to him, “Reports from those who claimed to be witnesses, on Tuesday 12th July, 2022 between the hours of 6:00pm and 7:00pm, a commercial tricycle conveying three (3) passengers at Ugbolokposo Community in Effurun, Delta State hit and scratched a black Jeep and a man in Police uniform came down from the black Jeep and shot severally at the tricycle killing the two (2) passengers at the back seat, the rider of the tricycle sustained a bullet wound on his left shoulder while the lady at the front seat survived unhurt.
“The reports of the alleged witnesses had it that the registration number of the said black Jeep was covered, adding that the V.I.P sat at the back seat of the black Jeep and wore white native attire.
“It was alleged that the black Jeep and the Police escort were suspected to be that of Apostle Michael Akpor.
“The question many had asked was whether Apostle Michael Akpor is the only V.I.P that lives within Ugbolokposo Community and its environs or ply Ugbolokposo Community road that has a black Jeep with a Police escort?
“The man of God received the news of the allegation of murder levied against him with a great shock.
“Consequently, the man of God and the said Policemen were invited by the Ebrumede Divisional Police Headquarters and as law abiding citizens of Nigeria, they honoured the Police invitation in my company as their Counsel on Friday 15th July, 2022.
“Upon arrival at the Ebrumede Divisional Police Headquarters, we were informed by the Divisional Police Officer that the case had been transferred to the Delta State Police Headquarters, Asaba and as a result, Apostle Michael Akpor and the two Policemen were transferred to the Delta State Police Headquarters, Asaba on the same day.”
Nyekigbe quoted the police report as “FINDINGS: In the course of investigation coupled with the oral interview held and the black Lexus Jeep paraded for identification by the acclaimed eyewitness, Festus Ebereri ‘m’ the following facts emerged:-
“i. A case of Murder of one Charles Okpako ‘m’ and Ejiro Ekiepovwe ‘m’ was reported at Ebrumede Divisional Police Headquarters on 14/07/2022 by one Erhiga Omavovwe Andrew ‘m’ accompanied by one Rhoda Ese Okpako ‘f’.
“ii. One Daniel Essien ‘m’, the driver of the commercial tricycle conveyed three (3) passengers viz: a girl and two (2) boys namely, Ella Obayendo ‘f’, Charles Okpako ‘m’ and Ejiro Ekiepovwe ‘m’ at Ogbolokposu Community.
“iii. While reversing the tricycle along Ogbolokposu road, the rider accidentally hit a black Jeep with the tricycle’s side mirror.
“iv. A Policeman came down from the black Jeep, released a gunshot into the air first and started shooting at the tricycle.
“v. The bullets hit the two (2) passengers sitting at the back seat and they died on the spot while the rider of the tricycle escaped with a bullet wound on his left shoulder and the girt escaped unhurt.
“vi. The tricycle rider confirmed he was carrying three (3) passengers and not four (4) as stated by the eye witness, Festus Ebereri ‘m’ in pages A12 and A12a of the case file.
“vii. The black Lexus Jeep was paraded amongst five (5) other black Jeeps for Festus Ebereri ‘m’ to identify as he claimed he knows the Jeep, but failed to identify; he made additional statement on page 12b of the case file to that effect.
“viii. Festus Ebereri ‘m’ who claimed to be an eye witness identified ASP. Mesoro Victor as the Policeman that shot the two deceased dead.
“ix. An inspection of the movement register of the SPU Base 25, Asaba contradicted the claims of Festus Ebereri ‘m’ as ASP, Mesoro Victor left on 12/07/2022 at 1630hrs for a special duty to Osun States tagged “Osun Guber election”.
“x. The two (2) rifles issued to the two (2) Policemen were issued with thirty (30) rounds of live ammunitions each which are all intact.
“xi. The Church of the 1st suspect, Apostle Michael Akpor ‘m’ is located off Uti Street, Effurun while the incident occurred at Ogbolokposu Community.
“xii. The Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footages clearly confirmed that the 1st suspect, Apostle Michael Akpor ‘m’ came out of his vehicle at the Church premises at about 1200hrs and entered the vehicle to leave the Church premises at about 2100hrs while the incident happed at about 1800hrs.
“CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION: In view of the findings above, it is crystal clear that the suspect, Apostle Michael Akpor ‘m’ was going on with his religious business in the Church as at the time of the incident.”
Nyekigbe concluded that, “Innocent Nigerians have been accused of offences they never committed and some did not live to prove their innocence. Some are in prison today for offences they never committed. It is in recognition of this fact that Apostle Michael Akpor is thanking God, acknowledging His hands in the Police investigation process and for exonerating him.”