Police arrest two community leaders for alleged illegal possession of firearms
However, there is palpable fear in the community as the suspects, Akpudo and Ogbuagu, were hastily granted bail. The community leaders, according to the police, were allegedly running unregistered security outfit that was involved in unscrupulous activities.
It was gathered that a yet-to-be confirmed number of automatic pump-action guns along with many rounds of ammunition were allegedly recovered from the suspects. The police said they have declared manhunt for other members of the community who were involved in the illegal activities.
A police source at the FCIID said the suspects’ homes were raided at the weekend based on credible information that the suspects were managing unlicensed armed security outfit that was involved in an imposition of illegal taxes/levies on the people.
According to the police, the arrest of the duo followed a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, by some elders of the community represented by Felix Okafor, Emeka Akukwe and Emma Amankwu, alleging that the suspects were involved in criminal and fraudulent activities.
In the petition, the stakeholders lamented that their collective woes started three years ago when the suspects assumed office as leaders of the security outfit, alleging that they introduced all manner of taxes/levies including N1 million burial tax before bereaved families could bury their deceased relations.
They also alleged that another N1 million building tax was to be paid by any indigene who wanted to build a house in the community. Other levies, according to the petitioners were illegal taxes/levies on electricity bills, security fees, magistrate court levies, compulsory donations, residence levies to non-indigenes, and business permit for shops.
The petitioners further alleged that the suspects mobilized armed thugs to attack and unleash mayhem on the indigenes/residents for failing to pay the levies demanded.
It was gathered that based on the petition, the IGP directed detectives at the Special Enquiry Bureau to arrest the President General and the chairman of the security committee.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), FCID, Alagbon, ASP Niyi Ogundeyi, said: “I cannot comment on this. I will contact the leader of the team investigating the case and get back to you or I will get in touch with the Force Public Relations Officer in Abuja before speaking with you.”
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