• Arrest 138 others for different crimes
Akwa Ibom State Police Command, yesterday, paraded a blind aged woman arrested by its operatives for allegedly possessing a fresh human skull.
The suspect was paraded alongside 138 others who were arrested across the state for various offences including murder, militancy, abduction, cultism, armed robbery, stealing, unlawful possession of firearms and vandalism, among others.
A breakdown of the number showed that 11 suspects were arrested for alleged murder, 47 for armed robbery and stealing, 10 for defilement and rape, 21 for alleged cultism, 16 for vandalism, seven for kidnapping and abduction, three for militancy and 24 for others crimes including child stealing.
The Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the State Police Command, SP Odiko Macdon, who paraded the suspects at the police headquarters in Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, said they were arrested in the third quarter of the year.
The aged blind woman, Mrs. Eseme James, was paraded with the human skull reportedly seen in her house at Nnung Oku Ibiet village in Oruk Anam local council of the state.
According to him, the woman was arrested with the aid of her daughter on October 12, 2021, about 6:45 p.m by soldiers of the ‘Exercise Still Water’ and handed over to the police for discreet and diligent investigation and prosecution.
He said the police was suspecting that the woman must have been involved in ritual activities even though she has told the police that her deceased husband was a native doctor and that her son took over the trade.
“The worry of the police is: What is she doing with a fresh human skull? It means murder has been committed somewhere recently,” Macdon said.
In an interview with journalists, the woman denied knowledge of the human skull allegedly found in her residence, saying she only heard from her daughter that the skull was exhumed by the police at the boundary of a disputed piece of land near her house.
“I don’t know anything about this skull. When they came to the house, I asked this girl what was going on since I cannot see. She told me that police exhumed a human skull from the boundary of that disputed land. They gave it to me to bring to the police station; that is why I’m here.
“When they came to the house, I was the only person they saw and they said, ‘take let’s go.’
“My husband was a native doctor; I have never seen him do anything with human parts. I don’t know who buried that skull there. The land has been in dispute even before he died,” the accused said in his native language.
Macdon, who stood in for the State Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, also disclosed that two suspected foreign militants and a Nigerian were arrested on September 13, 2021, with explosives.
According to him, men of AIG Border Patrol Monitoring Unit arrested the militants, two Cameroonians and a Cross Riverian, while on stop and search operation along Okobo-Oron highway in the state.
He gave their names as Adede De Black, Fombutu Tita, both males from the Republic of Cameroon and Bernard Mfam, a man from Ikom local council of Cross River State, adding that they had been charged to court.
“The suspected militants were arrested with two bags of dynamites, containers of incense powder, a bag containing items suspected to be talismans, some bottles of concoction, packets of incense oil, a piece of love soap, a bag of ground herbs and five new sets of walkie talkies,” he added.
He attributed the successes recorded by the Command in crime prevention to its gallant officers and men, effective collaboration with sister security agencies, support from the state government and cooperation from members of the public who always volunteer information.