A Police Inspector, Nathaniel Manasseh, has been arrested by the Cross River State Police Command for allegedly selling firearms and ammunition to criminals.
Manasseh who was arrested in Calabar, the state capital, and paraded at the police headquarters on Tuesday alongside other criminal suspects, is said to be a major gunrunner and had been in the business for a long time before he was arrested.
The senior police officer who confessed to the crime, was said to be in charge of the armory at the state police command and was nabbed when he could not account for some pieces of hardware including two AK-47 rifles.
When he was initially questioned, he reportedly claimed he was charmed and dispossessed of the rifles, including a vehicle.
“I was charmed and dispossessed of the rifles. I can’t really explain what happened and how they dispossessed me of the rifles. I am not a gun runner,” he reportedly said.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Sikiru Akande, who paraded Manasseh and the other suspects, disclosed that since the new Commander of Anti Kidnapping and Cultism Squad (AKCTS) resumed office, there has been a harvest of criminals.
“Cross River is regaining her lost glory in the area of security and as a matter of fact, we remain the most peaceful state in Nigeria and nothing can break our resolve.
“For Police to function efficiently in any society, it requires citizens’ participation, partnership and willingness of the community to constantly equip the police with actionable information to forestall unpleasant occurrences.
“Our achievement today is not unconnected with the cooperation of the public – security is everybody’s business, we must encourage Community Policing in our communities.
“The Police Inspector you see here, Inspector Manasseh, is amongst those who usually give out their rifles on rent to notorious criminals and a member of a gun-running syndicate.”
By Isaac Dachen