* Un-chained while being led to DSP’s office
* DSP can’t explain why the station, with a functional generator, was left in darkness @ 9pm
Was there collusion in the dramatic escape of ritual murder suspect Ifeanyi Dike from police custody the previous week or the young man simply made a dash for it and got away?NATH OMAME,in P/Harcourt, recounts thearrest and ludicrous escape of one Ifeanyi Dike, a ritual murder suspect from custody as the IPO escorted him out of the investigation room, at Okporo Police Station, PH.
The story of how 23-year old, 200 level student in the Department of Physics, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Ifeanyi Dike, recentlyescaped from the custody of the Police 24 hours after he was paraded at the headquarters of the Rivers State Police command, along Moscow Road, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, is riveting indeed.
Dike had killed an eight-year old girl, Miss. ChikamsoVictory Nwezuba, in his room at the Eliozu area of Port Harcourt. He confessed to the Police during interrogation that he lured the girl into his room and gave her an overdose of chrolohydrate before killing her.
Dike upon killing his victimcut off her sex organ,her two eyes,tongue,two small fingers, left breast and part of her forehead for moneymaking ritual. He had confessedto the Police upon interrogation that he was instructed by his client to deliver the human parts for the ritual. He said he was assured by his client, whose name he gave to the Police, that he would be paid substantial amount of money to make him rich.
Dike was arrested by local vigilante in Eliozu, at 1.20 am, on Friday, August 17, as he was approaching a garbage site to deposit the remains of the eight year old girl. He carried the corpse of the girl in a basin and covered it with fresh plantain leaves. Members of the local vigilante accosted Dike and asked him what he was carrying in the basin.
He dropped the basin and took to his heels. Some members of the vigilante chased him and caught up with him and handed him over to the Police team on patrol. The deceased’s father, Mr. Ernest Nwezuba, who lives about two blocks from Dike’s residence on the same street, in Eliozu,his daughter told the police his daughter had been missing for about 24 hours.
The Police patrol team took Dike to the Okporo Police Station where he and the father of the victim made their statements. Dike admitted at the Police station that he killed the victim in his room, adding that the human parts taken from the body of the victim were still in his room.
He told the Police where he had kept the parts. After a search of his room, the Police found six containers of different chemicals and an empty tin of Bournvita. Inside the empty tin was a small glass box containing all the parts Dike had taken from the body of the eight-year old girl.
Upon interrogation on tape, Dike admitted: “I gave her the chemical so that she would not feel much pain while I took whatever I wanted to remove from her body. He (name withheld as investigation is currently on-going) promised he would make me rich.” (The person he mentioned lived in the same compound asDike but packed out about six years, ago).
Mr. Nwezuba narrated: “We saw containers of about six to seven chemicals in his room. We also saw a stone and kitchen knife he used in killing my daughter in his room. We also saw a laptop and his cell phone. I immediately took the phone so that we can trace the last calls he made.Ifeanyi is a boy I give money and clothes. He is my kindred fromOchiogwa, Mbatoili, in Imo State.Ifeanyi is my brother.”
“He is chorister in the Anglican Church, Eliozu where I also worship. I am the financial secretary of the Christian Men’s Association (CMA). He wears the chorister’s robe. And he is in the Church by 7.am, on Sundays. Ifeanyi attends midweek prayers regularly.Ifeanyi is an orphan. His sister who is my neighbour and lives in Port Harcourt with her husband and children took Ifeanyi in as his guardian since Ifeanyi was three years old. Her children are still in secondary school, but she has trained Ifeanyi to 200-level in the university.
“According to Ifeanyi, his boss first asked him to join his group six years, ago, but that he refused. But when he went home for Christmas, last year, and saw young men who had made it in my community, he decided to do what he was asked to do these past years. Six years ago, Ifeanyi was not in the university, then. I feel really bad. This boy has killed me. Chinaso is my last child. She is dear to me.”
Narrating how Dike escaped from police custody, Nwezubasaid: “After taking statements from Ifeanyi and me, the police let me go home while he was detained at the Okporo Police Station. The same day, about 30 minutes after I got home, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Sergeant Blessing at Okporo Police Station, called me to come over to the station. He intimated me that an order in form of a signal from Abuja had been given that the matter should be transferred to the State Criminal Department (CID). I was informed that the Commissioner of Police had asked that the matter be moved to the state CID, immediately.
“I got dressed and drove to the Okporo Police Station. Ifeanyi was taken out of the cell in hand cuffs and led into a police operational vehicle. The police also pickedup my daughter’s corpse from the mortuary for the journey to the state CID. I entered my vehicle and we drove to theCID. Six armed policemen accompanied us. Surprisingly, when we got to the roundabout, the police stopped the operational vehicle. So, I asked them why they stopped.
“One of the policemen came out of the operational vehicle.
I asked again why they stopped. They later said they were waiting for the officer who would handle the matter. We stayed at the roundabout for about 10 to 15 minutes. I did not see the person they were waiting for: nobody entered the vehicle. After a while, they started their vehicle and we drove to the state CID.
“At the CID, we met the DCP, Kachi, who happens to know my younger brother. He asked for the previous statements we made at Okporo Police Station. We were led to the IPO, a man named John Bosco, who proceeded to take fresh statements from Ifeanyi and myself. The policemen that took us to the state CID also gave Ifeany’s phone to John Bosco. I later gave the phone to the Police at Okporo Police Station.
“The policemen at the state CID went through Ifeanyi’s phone and saw the text message he sent to his boss informing him that he had executed the assignment. It was finally handed over to John Bosco. Bosco began taking Ifeany’s statement. It was around 8.pm. There was no light. So, Bosco asked us to go and buy candle. There was no light at the state CID. I told him that I would not buy any candle. So, we wrote our statements using the touch in our cell phones. Ifeanyi made his statement without a handcuff. He was taken to the CID from Okporo Police Station in handcuffs, but was removed at the State CID.
“Our statements were taken inside an office. After writing for some time, Ifeanyi told John Bosco he was tasty. At that point, John Bosco asked me to buy water for Ifeany. Iasked him: ‘Are you mad? I should buy water for a fellow who killed my daughter?’ I told him I couldn’tdo that. He then pacified me. He put his hand inside his pocket and brought out N20 and asked one of his colleagues to buy the packaged water. He told Ifeanyi to write down all he knew about the murder of the eight-year old girl.
“Ifeanyi admitted while being interrogated by John Bosco to everything he wrote in the statement he made earlier at Okporo Police Station. At a point, Bosco said he was taking Ifeanyi to the cell. The time was about 9.45pm orthereabout. He led Ifeanyi out of the office where the statements were taken without handcuffs. During the interrogation, armed policemen stood by the side of the door to the office.
“Ifeanyi was in front of Bosco when they both left the office. Ifeanyi was not in handcuffs. The DSP, Kachi, had instructed Bosco to bring all the statements to his office, upstairs, on the completion of his interrogation ofIfeanyi and myself. The next thing we heard was: “Hol am, hol am, hol am. E don run ooo. Makeuna help me ooo. The boy de run ooo.” Whether Ifeanyi jumped over the fence is what I cannot say because it was dark since there was no light. Bosco saidIfeanyi jumped over the fence.
“We started searching for Ifeanyi under the cars parked in the station. We did not see Ifeanyi. Some minutes later, the deputy commissioner of Police arrived at the CID. He was livid with anger. And he began shouting. What are you telling me? This news is on air: on radio and television. It is on the Internet–Facebook and other social media platforms. I am quoting the deputy commissioner of police. Then, he asked: who are these people? He was told that we are the complainants. He then ordered us to follow him upstairs.”
“He asked: DSP where were you? The DSP replied: I was upstairs. I told the IPO, (John Bosco) to bring them (Ifeanyi and the complainant when he was through with the interrogation and had taken their statements). The deputy commissioner of Police then asked us to follow him to his office, upstairs. He then asked Bosco why he did not put on the generator. The other policemen gave flimsy excuses. Buthe was unconvinced and ordered them to put on the generator. It was then some policemen put on the generator.
“It was after the generator was put on that the deputy commissioner of Police went up to his office and asked us to join him in his office. He called the DSP in-charge of the station and asked him: what is this? What am I hearing? It was then the DSP narrated what had happened. He was unimpressed and asked him to go get the IPO, John Bosco, and come with him to his office. He appeared with Bosco who was shaking, begging: Oga, please ooh. I don’t know how this thing happened to me. We were all there. After taking his statement, I was leading him to the cell when he suddenly ran away. The DCP told him: ‘You are mad. You must produce this boy, or, you will lose your job.’ For me, I believe there is some collusion, somewhere.
“For me, the Police have to produce Ifeanyi. The local vigilante arrested him at about 1.20.am, while he was attempting to drop off the corpse of my child in the refuse dump; tied him up to prevent him from escaping. The Police came and took him from them. Now, the police are telling us Ifeanyi has escaped from the state CID, for that matter! This is a monumental disgrace to our country. Put yourself in my shoes: someone killed my daughter. He was arrested and handed over to the Police and what you now hear is that the culprit has escaped from Police custody.
“What would happen if the local vigilante had not seen Ifeanyi while he was attempting to drop off the remains of my daughter by the roadside? The Police would come to the area to arrest innocent people. Good enough, the local vigilante saw him, accosted him, interrogated him, arrested himand handed him over to the Police.And now we are told that the culprit the Police took from the local vigilante so that justice could be done to the aggrieved party has escaped from police custody. How does this story sound to you?
“As the father of the victim, I want justice for my innocent daughter. I will not give up. For me, justice must take its full course.
“I later called the DCP and inquired about the latest on Ifeanyi who killed my daughter. He said they had deployed their men on patrol in a bid to re-arrest the culprit. I also called the DSP, Kachi who informed me that they wereplanning to come to Ifeanyi’s compound to arrest everybody there. I told him, pointedly, please don’t come and arrest anybody. The local vigilante arrested Ifeanyi and the Police came in and took the culprit from them. Ifeanyi escaped from the premises of the state CID. So, what have occupants in the compound where Ifeany lives got to do with his escape from Police custody?
“Arresting the landlord or my sister who is Ifeanyi’s guardian will not make any meaning. A woman that has been taking care of Ifeanyi from the age of three will not solve the problem. I gave the Police Ifeanyi’s phone, which
I collected from his room during the search of his room by the Police. The Police came with a search warrant. Blessing, a sergeant, at Okporo Police Station knows the code with which to unlockIfeany’s phone. Ifeanyi’s laptop taken from his room is always with the Police. Ifeanyi’s contacts with the ritual syndicate are all in Ifeanyi’s laptop and phone.
Reacting to Dike’s escape from the state CID, in Port Harcourt, Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed assured that that the police would do everything possible to re-arrest the fleeing culprit. “We have deployed human and material resources to make sure the culprit is re-arrested. The incident was due to individual negligence on the part of the Police officer-in-charge of the case. We are close to getting him. We are not relenting.”
“It is too bad it happened,” Ahmed added. “We are parents and we feel bad about what has happened. No one will take this unfortunate incident for granted. We are confident we will get the boy arrested and brought into custody. We are appealing to members of the public to have confidence in us. If they have any useful information, they should pleaseconfide in us.
The policeman involved has been arrested and detained in Police custody.”
On Monday, August 21, the commissioner of Police held an emergency meeting with all the Divisional Police Officers, (DPO’s) in the State, at the headquarters of the Rivers State Police command. No statement was issued at the end of the meeting that lasted for about 21/2 hours.
Ahmed spoke after the meeting: “The parents of the girl were there when it happened. They witnessed everything. He took the advantage of the situation. Sunset was approaching and before you knew it he had escaped: he took to his heels. We all share the pains of the parents of the victim. Efforts are on top gear to get the culprit re-arrested. As parents, it pains us to the marrow. We want the public to have confidence in us. We have done it before, and we are going to do it now.”
Reacting to the development, The South South Regional Chairman of a civil society organisation, the United Action for Democracy (UAD), Georgewill Solomon,declared: “We are giving the police seven days to re-arrest the culprit. We want to hear that Ifeanyi Dike has been re-arrested, if not, we will write a petition to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and the President.”
As members of the public continue to express anger and frustration at the escape of the culprit who drugged the eight-year old girl with an overdose of noxious chemicals, before defiling her and eventually killing her and removing some parts of her body the local vigilante that caught the killer have revealed that they actually called the police on telephone and, willingly, handed the culprit to them.
Meanwhile, the management of the University of Port Harcourt where Ifeanyi Dike is said to be a 200-level undergraduate in the department of Physics has issued a statement, saying it is investigating the identity of Dike to ascertain whether he is a bonafide student of the university. Deputy Registrar of Information, Dr. William Wodi disclosed that the management has asked the Student Affairs Department to sift through its files to ascertain if the said Ifeanyi Dike is, truly, a student in the university.
“The incident happened over the weekend. Today, Monday, the management of the university has directed the student affairs department to go through its files to ascertain the academic status (of the culprit) as a student. The department of Physics, which has been mentioned has also been asked to ascertain that claim. Once that is confirmed, the university will issue a statement to that effect. For now, we are floating with the reportage that a student of the University of Port Harcourt was involved in that despicable act.”
Wodi assured: “It would have been easier to provide information as to the identity of the culprit if the incident had happened on a week day. Let me say this: the University of Port Harcourt is willing to cooperate with the Police and we will provide the Police all useful information that will enable the Police to re-arrestand prosecute him once we confirm that he is a student of the university.”
Reacting to the involvement of an undergraduate in ritual murder for the sake of making money, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. KinnyKenwahAniele, lamented that the sad development is an indication of moral decadence among the youths in the society.
He regretted: “This is the sign of a failing society. Unfortunately, we live in a society where wealth has become the in-thing. How people make their money is not questioned. And we consciously, individually and collectively, give our support to this debased phenomenon. The support we give to this ignoble fad is, indeed, heinous. We don’t frown at people who kill people to make money. We do not despise those who own quantum of money in the society without any visible source of income.”
“Even the clergies who should preach to condemn the glorification of sudden wealth now glorify these despicable characters,” Prof. Aniele added. All some do is to extort wealth. The society has lost its tract. Now, we preach money, money, money! What has transpired shows our collapsing value system. I am bothered that an undergraduate got involved in ritual killing to make money. So, of what essence is the education that he is pursuing at the university?”