COMMISSIONER of Police in Delta State, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim has said that over 270 officers have been deployed as a search party for the kidnapped Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of ‘C’ Division, Asaba, SP Valentine Mbalu.
Speculations were rife at the weekend that SP Mbalu who was abducted on March 5 might have allegedly be killed by his hostage takers, as a decomposing corpse purportedly found in Umunede bush was allegedly said to be his.
But Ibrahim denied that the corpse of the DPO was found in Umunede bush, adding however that from the confessional statement made by two suspects arrested in connection with the kidnap, the officer may be presumed dead.
He said though the command was yet to lay hands on the corpse, at present, the search was on by over 270 officers, adding that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has approved the deployment of three sniffer dogs to help locate where the officer is or buried.
Zanna said March 15 while acting on available intelligence, operatives of SAKCCS arrested one Suleiman Ibrahim a.k.a Carlos ‘m’, aged 29 years, a native of Adamawa State, at Aduwawa area of Benin City, Edo State and Yusuf Hamisu ‘m’ of Eyan Benin City.
“The suspects confessed being members of a five-man kidnap gang that kidnapped the DPO and further disclosed that the victim died in their custody on 6/3/2017 as a result of his health challenges.
“The suspects have also unveiled the identities of the gang leader and other members of the kidnap gang who operate between Edo, Kogi, Delta, Enugu and Anambra States.
“On further interrogation, suspects also confessed to the kidnap of two civil servants attached to Delta State Government House, the murder of one police officer and one woman, along Benin/Lagos by-pass in the month of February,” he added.
He said one of the suspects, Suleiman Ibrahim allegedly confessed to the crime and narrated how the officer was abducted, adding that their gang was linked to the kidnap and murder of the mother-in-law of one of the aides to the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa about two months ago.
“The suspect said the he was sent to buy food for the officer but was later called by other gang members not to bother, saying the officer has past on; hence he felt the officer may have died,” Zanna explained.