Alarm to IG: Police protecting former LG boss accused of murder 

…His accomplice has been sentenced to death but he moves around now with police  escort

By Vincent Ujumadu

TWO concerned Nigerians, Moses Arrieruje and Innocent Akemu, have petitioned the Inspector General of Police, demanding the immediate arrest and prosecution of a former local government chairman in Delta State, suspected to have a hand in the gruesome murder of one Mr. John Mugidi.

Ibrahim Idris, IGP

In the petition, they alleged that the suspect was being protected by the Delta Police Command, a development they described as very dangerous to the society. They also claimed that the suspect, who was on the wanted list of the police for various offences, disappeared in a mysterious manner from the Delta State Police Command, Asaba, three hours after his arrest.

According to the petition, sometime in late 2015, the suspect was suspended by the Delta State House of Assembly as the Chairman of his local government council, following series of petitions in connection with alleged abuse of office and gross violation of people’s rights, adding that it was during the period of the suspension that Mugidi was murdered after he was informed that he had only five days more to live by the suspect and his group.

True to the threat, he was murdered three days after along NPA Express road, Epkan while riding a motorcycle in company in the company of one Innocent Akemu.

The petition made available to Saturday Vanguard read in part: “John Mogidi was commanded to go into a waiting Toyota Prado and when he refused, an occupant in the car pulled a gun and shot him.

“When his friend, Innocent Akemu, who was riding on the motorcycle with him saw what happened, he attempted running for his dear life, but was also shot from behind. Akemu was later rushed to the Central Hospital, Warri where he was admitted in the emergency unit, while John Mogidi was confirmed dead and his remains deposited at the Warri Central Hospital.”

The petitioners said that Akemu later mentioned some of the people at the scene, adding that police investigation later led to the arrest of another suspect, Chief Newton Agbofodoh who was arraigned and tried and on the 31st March, 2018, was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.

They expressed surprise that the others, including the suspect allegedly involved in the murder of John Mogidi and attempted murder of Innocent Akemu, who were declared wanted by the Delta State Police Command after the incident, have been on the run since then.

They also said that sometime in August 2018, the suspect and his gang stormed Osubi town in a commando fashion and allegedly murdered one Mr. Blessing Oguori, aka Pastor.

They further said: “After this incident, we started seeing the suspect driving round Uvwie in the escort of a team of mobile police, suspected to be from Abuja.

“We have also started seeing (Name withheld) the suspect and others, who had been on the run, moving round the Uvwie Local Government Area with the mobile police escort and we are very concerned. The families of those gruesomely murdered are yet to recover from the loss of their relations. We are very pained that a society where we preach the rule of law can afford to have notorious murderers walk and drive around our communities with impunity and total disregard to the victims of their criminal acts.

“We are dumbfounded at the manner with which the suspect was released to walk away in the midst of the allegations against him and the imminent threats of his presence to lives and property in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State..

“With the release of the suspect, our lives are at risk. We now live in fear as he and his cohorts are after us. The people are now frightened and unwilling to give evidence, considering the speed with which the suspect was released from police custody.

“How can the same state police command which declared the suspect wanted for several murder cases and other heinous crimes, release him to walk freely immediately after he was arrested without any interrogation? Does this not amount to selective prosecution and compromise?

What would be the reason for releasing him to walk away despite the pending complaints against him at the state police command? How will the Delta State Police justify their action if the suspect and his armed cohorts go about killing other innocent law abiding citizens of Uvwie after his release?