Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and members of the House of Assembly yesterday flayed the redeployment of the state anti-kidnapping squad leader, Mr. Dickson Adeyemi Osamwonyi, to the state by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar. Osamwonyi and six members of the squad were in April disarmed, arrested and flown to Abuja on the orders of the IGP for allegedly aiding and abetting kidnappings in the state.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Government House in Asaba, the Delta State capital, the IGP said the police could not find any concrete evidence against the antikidnapping squad boss.
He said: “We have investigated and we didn’t find any evidence against the police officer. I want to be fair and just to everybody. I don’t want to prosecute anyone because they say someone is a thief and there are no evidences to prove that actually that person is a thief. If you have that evidence against that police officer that we could use to prosecute him, please bring forward to us such evidence.”
But Uduaghan expressed worry over the return of Osamwonyi.
He said that the return of Osamwonyi coincided with the resurgence of kidnapping in the state.
Uduaghan claimed that there was a drastic reduction in the incidence of kidnapping during the absence of the police officer and his suspected accomplices, but stressed that soon after their release, the crime had peaked.
The governor told the IGP that the people were agitated by the development and were requesting that the matter be revisited and thoroughly investigated to ensure that justice was done.
“The people want me to send a message to you on recent happening in the state and even the House of Assembly deliberated on it.
“Few days ago, some persons, your police officers, suspected to be involved in kidnapping, which were earlier apprehended, were released.
“What borthered us was that their release coincided with the recent upsurge in kidnap cases in the state. So, we want you to have a second look at that issue.”
Though the IGP exonerated the embattled anti-kidnapping squad leader, saying the police could not find any concrete evidence against him, he challenged anybody with concrete evidences to come forward as he could not prosecute anyone unjustly.
Members of the state House of Assembly also lambasted the Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Parry Osayande, over his alleged role in the return of Osamwonyi to the state.
In a motion by the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Johnson Erijo, he urged the House to condemn Osayande’s actions for redeploying Osamwonyi to the state.
Supporting the motion, the Majority Leader, Hon. Monday Igbuya, queried Osayande’s interest in Osamwonyi’s redeployment. He also accused the PSC boss of suspected clandestine dealings with Osamwonyi.
Also yesterday, Uduaghan commissioned 60 patrol vehicles, two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and communication gadgets donated to the state police command.
The governor, however, commended the IGP for his foresight in removing road blocks from the nation’s highways.