AT least seven suspected criminals have escaped from police custody in Calabar, Cross River State. Out of the seven, three were killed while making attempts to escape, one arrested and three are still being trailed by detectives, the police have said.
Top police sources said some of the escapees are suspected armed robbers and kidnappers in custody awaiting legal charges, who had reportedly bribed their way out of detention to be in police custody.
The suspects were said to have escaped at the state police command headquarters in Diamond Hill, Calabar, on Sunday. The Commissioner of Police, Abdulkadir Jimoh, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the detainees who escaped were seven in number and not 17, as claimed on social media.
He said: “Out of the seven, one has been re-arrested, three were trailed and shot dead while trying to dive into the axis of the Calabar River by Jebs Street in Calabar South. The remaining three, though still at large, are being trailed.”
Jimoh said bodies of the shot ones have not been recovered yet, but divers have been engaged to fish out the bodies. Besides the official inquiries into the incident, a number of police officers who are suspected to have aided the escape of the detainees have been taken into custody for further investigations and necessary action.
The suspects were said to have used a hacksaw to cut open the lock of the cell where they were detained.
MEANWHILE, the command has also arrested four suspects who were allegedly involved in a reported armed robbery on Sunday, where a victim was shot and later confirmed dead in the hospital.
The robbery occurred at No. 6, Asang Eniong Street, Calabar South LGA, in the early hours of Sunday when the robbers attacked the compound and shot one of the victims whose name was given as Ekanem Ekanem, aged 48. He was later confirmed dead in the Navy Hospital, Calabar.
The Commissioner of Police, Abdulkadir Jimoh, who paraded the suspects before newsmen, disclosed that they acted upon intelligence and were directed to Goldie Market, close to UNICAl Goldie-gate, where the suspects were arrested.
He named the suspects as Theophilus Nwosu, aged 25; Godwin Ekwen, 27; Adigor Emmanuel, 20; and Benjare Clement Arikpo, 30. The items recovered from them were two locally-made pistols; one live cartridge; one expended cartridge; two android Techno phones; one Itel phone and one Fantom phone.
CP Jimoh noted that investigation was ongoing and warned hoodlums to be rest assured that the command would fish them out to face the law.
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