Police arrests three members of Vigilante over alleged attack in Rivers - OPID News

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Thursday, 4 February 2021

Police arrests three members of Vigilante over alleged attack in Rivers

Police arrests three members of Vigilante over alleged attack in Rivers

Police in Rivers State have arrested three members of the state vigilante group (a.ka. OSPAC), in Rumuolumeni community, of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State, over the alleged attempted murder of one Clifford Woko.

Woko, an indigene of the community had bluntly refused to pay building levy (matching ground), to members of the group for a building he is constructing in his community, sparking altercation with him and the local security men, resulting in the attack on him.

Confirming the development to the Nation through a telephone chart, the Spokesman of the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said, “we got a report of an attempted murder case against members of the group, so we went and arrested them.

“This is contrary to the rumours making the rounds that we went to raid OSPAC office; we did not go there to raid their office but to arrest them.”

Speaking on the reason for the arrest, Omoni said, “A report was made in our office that OSPAC members attacked a member of the community and inflicted machete cuts all over his body especially on his back. We went there to arrest them for investigation and possibly to institute a case of an attempted murder charge against them, we arrested three of the members in connection with the allegation, and we have commenced investigations,” he said.

However, a community source who disclosed the incident to our Reporter in Port Harcourt said the Police raid followed the refusal of a group to honour the invitation in respect of the assault report lodged by the victim against them.

According to the source who would want to remain anonymous, before the police raid, Human Rights Department where the victim lodges the petition had invited them three times for questioning and possible amicable resolution, but they declined the calls.

Reacting to the development, the victim commended the Police for taking the steps to ensure that justice is served on the matter, stressing that he would have been dead by now, but for God’s mercy and intervention.

OSPAC in the state has been on the frontline of news stories in the state, recently, for good and mostly negative reasons.

Just penultimate week, the group in Emohua axis were accused of also inflicting life-threatening machete cuts on a 19-year-old man, simply for allegedly dropping a dead snake in somebody’s compound, insisting that it was a taboo that is punishable by death.

Shortly after that, the group allegedly abducted a man to their shrine in the forest and assaulted him mercilessly for helping the 19-year-old to the police station to the incident a report of his torture and infliction of machete cuts on him. The man left the shrine in almost a comatose state.

On a positive note, members of the group in Ikwerre local government axis of the state recently arrested and handed over to the police a 60-year old worker of a state-own University who defiled a 16-year old stepdaughter but was allegedly shielded from Police arrest by his employer.

Following the ugly reports of the group in Emohua LGA, the executive chairman of the council, recently announced the ban on their operations in his domain, insisting that they are dissolved and warned against any member parading himself in the locality as OSPAC member.

However, the action of the council chairman has received serious knocks from members of the community, who are insisting that they be recalled, reformed, and put under serious and effective checks by both the council and the police, stressing that apart from the recent ill development, the group has been helpful in checking the activities of hoodlums in the area and the East/West road.

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