Three suspects alleged to have been involved in the killing of 10 persons, including nine police officers, were on Thursday arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The suspects were said to have shot and killed their victims during various bank robbery operations in the different parts of the state.
The accused persons, who were identified as Godgift Gwenbe (29), Odum Atokaritou (35) and Napughi Duba (29), were arraigned on 18 counts of conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder.
The suspects were alleged to be responsible for the murder of ASP Bamidele Mohammed (a spy), attached to a branch of Sterling Bank in Port Harcourt; Inspector Austine Moore, who until his death was attached to the Elekahia Police Station in Port Harcourt; Corporal Prince Tigbara (Elekahia Police Station) and Inspector Jonah Oletu.
Others alleged to have been killed by the suspects were Inspector Peter Olavoghokere, Corporal Paul Nnaa and Inspector Dennis Akpan, who were attached to the Olu-Obasanjo Police Station, Port Harcourt.
Also murdered included Sergeant Ekwere Epoulo and Corporal Okougor Nyambi, all attached to the Olu-Obasanjo Police Station. The other one was Mr. Femi Oluokun, who was until his demise the Regional Manager of Sterling Bank.
The suspects were also accused of being involved in the kidnap of one Nkechi Chika (female), who is the Director of Pre-Pay Hotel, Eagle Island.
Chika was held captive for two days and regained her freedom after the payment of N10m ransom.
Duba, Atokaritou and Gwenbe, in the company with others currently at large, attacked and robbed a bullion van conveying the sum of $400,000, property of Sterling Bank, Port Harcourt.
The suspects were also said to have been involved in the robbing of Diamond Bank, Trans-Amadi Branch, Port Harcourt.
While the sum of N350m was taken away from Diamond Bank, it was gathered that another financial institution, Fidelity Bank, GRA Branch in the state capital, lost N24m to the suspects and their gang.
Though no plea was taken because the case was related to capital offence, the Magistrate, M.F. Poromon, directed that the matter should be transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.
The magistrate, however, adjourned the matter till November 28, 2016, and ordered the accused persons to be remanded in prison custody.