*Three Suspects Arrested
By Onome Oghenetega
A Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Galilee Police Station, Ute-Ogbeje community in Ika North East Local Government Area of the Delta State who was allegedly kidnapped by gunmen on Saturday has been freed by his abductors.
The DPO who was simply identified Mr Okoro was alleged attacked around Onicha-Ugbo and Issele-Uku section of the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway on his way to Asaba, the state capital, for an official assignment.
But, the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Adeyinka Adeleke, has denied the incident saying that it was the DPO’s friend that was kidnapped and had since been freed.
However, our sources within the Agbor Police Area Command, insisted that it was the DPO that was kidnapped.
Our sources disclosed that Okoro was said to have been freed after the hoodlums collected about N3 million ransom before he was released on Sunday.
A local community source in the area that was aware of the development confirmed the incident on Monday to WARRI TODAY.
One of the polices who pleaded anonymity because of its security implication while insisting on the kidnap of the DPO and the ransom paid to the hoodlums, said the incident was causing ripples with the state command.
It was learnt that the gunmen overpowered the vehicle conveying the DPO with sporadic shooting.
It was, however, not clear if the DPO was wearing uniform when he was waylaid by his captors.
“He was heading to Asaba for an official assignment when he was waylaid and abducted to unknown destination on Saturday. We have been trying our best so that the press will not be aware of the incident.
“The DPO was eventually released after a ransom of three million naira was paid on Sunday”, one of the sources told WARRI TODAY.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Adeleke blatantly denied that it was the DPO that was kidnapped by the gunmen on that fateful day.
He stated that it was a friend of the DPO that was abducted and the victim had since been freed.
According to him, three suspects had been arrested by the command in connection with the incident.
He noted that he was in touch with the DPO, adding that the police will never encourage anybody to pay ransom for their kidnapped friend or relative to be freed.
“It was not the DPO that was kidnapped; it was his friend that was kidnapped. Three suspects have been arrested”, CP Adeleke added.
Galilee Police Station in Ute-Ogbeje community was built by Fountain of Joy and Comfort Foundation owned by Mr Odili. The station was commissioned by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State in 2017.
In 2017, a decomposing corpse believed to be that of the Divisional Police Officer in charge of ‘C’ Division in Asaba, SP Valentine Mbalu, who was abducted in early March, 2017 reportedly found in a bush in Umunede along the Benin/Asaba highway.
It was learnt that some members of the kidnapping gang who allegedly abducted the officer while returning to his duty post in Asaba from Agbor had been arrested and confessed to the killing.
SP Mbalu was abducted at about 4pm on the 5th of March on his way to Asaba after spending the weekend with his family at Agbor and since then he had been kept incommunicado by his captors until the news of his killing was received.