Governor says SARS is responsible for robbery and kidnapping in Rivers

Governor Wike has accused the police special anti-robbery squad of kidnapping and stealing in Rivers.

SARS has come in for plenty of stick from members of the public in recent times.

The special unit of the Nigeria police force is often accused of extra-judicial killings from dingy cell rooms amid human rights violations.

Wike stated that the Rivers State Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) Commander, Mr Akin Fakorede and his operatives have been indicted by an official Police Signal.

According to the Governor, the Police Signal stated that SARS is responsible for a  series of kidnappings and deadly robbery operations  across the State.

Pulse hasn't been able to independently verify the Governor's claims.

A request for comment sent the way of Abayomi Shogunle, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of public complaints, hadn't been replied at press time.

However, addressing journalists on Wednesday at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike stated that the SARS Commander was planted in the State to sabotage the security architecture of Rivers and create an atmosphere of chaos and fear.

According to Wike, criminal activities of Mr Fakorede have been uncovered by the Inspector General of Police X Squad Abuja deployed to the State after the squad busted the attempted kidnap of one Mr Azumana Ifeanyi on September 11, 2017 at the GRA, Port Harcourt.

Rivers State government officials told Pulse that the official Police Signal with the title: "Police Wireless Message " and Reference Number DT0: 121030/09/2017 ---INGENPOL-X-FHQ ABUJA TO-INGENPOL SEC ABUJA, noted that the squad received a distress call on the kidnap of Mr Ifeanyi  and immediately  swung into action.

According to the Signal, they met three SARS operatives robbing before a gun duel ensued.

The operatives had taken Mr Ifeanyi to a Fidelity Bank ATM where they compelled him to withdraw N500,000 as ransom, according to the Rivers govt officials.

One of the SARS  operatives was killed, while Inspector Justice Nyeche who led the IGP team was injured, the narrators said.

Governor Wike said: "Most of the kidnapping and armed robbery taking place in this State are done by men of SARS.  They use exhibit  vehicles to operate. As the Chief Security Officer of the state, you complain, but they choose to play politics with crime.

"They fight crime in some States, but they refuse to fight crime in Rivers State.  We are done with the elections, but they are using SARS to  create insecurity in the State.

"As I speak with you, they will deny. But the SARS  Operative who was killed was amongst those who raided the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre. This man can be identified  in the video as one of those who invaded the collation centre with Fakorede."

The Governor alleged that the deliberate acts of violence being perpetrated by the Police in Rivers are being orchestrated as part of a ploy to rig the 2019 general elections.

"I have never seen a country where they politicise crime. It is very obvious that they want to give the impression that Rivers State is unsafe.  They want to instill fear preparatory to declaring during the elections  that there is so much killing in Rivers", Wike said.

He added that, "authorities are deliberately trying to destroy a whole State and you  want the people to be happy. I will no longer  write.  Now is the time to take my case to the public, for the whole world to know what is happening".

The Governor said his administration has invested more than any other in logistics for security personnel, yet the Police is continually working to undermine and destroy the State.

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