By Abiodun OBA
Based on the development and the resultant exposition of an exposed alleged extortion of over N100 million from a suspect arrested for cybercrime, there is panic and disagreement among the police hierarchy in the Rivers State Police Command.
Operatives of the state police command had based on information of alleged cybercrime, arrested Mr Atubi Davison, in Port Harcourt and recovered over N100,000,000 from his ceiling.
It was learned that the larger part of the money recovered was in dollar, while the remaining was naira.
It was further gathered that the suspect, Davidson was arrested on suspicion of being an internet fraudster, but source had claimed that the suspect was one of the major contractors in the pipeline surveillance contract.
A Police source, who did not want his name mentioned said the senior officers of the command, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department and Commissioner of Police in the state have been in rounds of meeting on how to well tackle the development from festering the more.
A Rights Advocate, Israel Joe, had petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, demanding for proper investigation into the development.
Joe, a Rights Advocate, based in Delta State had in the petition alleged extortion of N80 million naira and gold necklace worth of N4 million from Davison by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, Olayinka, 2ic State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) Port Harcourt and two other officers simply identified as Emmanuel and Uche.
The petitioner noted that on the 14th of September police invaded the home of Mr Davison at Peace Avenue Road, Egbelu, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, searched the house and saw over N100 million, which was meant for payment of men securing pipeline facilities in Niger Delta.
He claimed that Mr Davison is a Chairman of one of the units securing pipeline facilities in the pipeline surveillance contract and that the sum recovered from his Port Harcourt home was for the payment of the workers.
Joe said the police that stormed Davidson’s home also took away two cars and a gold chain necklace valued 4 million naira and arrested four persons in Mr Davison house including a female.
In a further telephone chat, Mr Joe narrated: “I met with the Assistant Commissioner (AC) State CIID and asked him what are you investigating the man for? The AC told me that it is an alleged kidnap case that he doesn’t know if somebody will come and report that his money is missing, or it is a ransom money. He said that all they need to do is to see how they can manage the situation that the money is about N100 million.
“He said major part of the money is in dollars. I told the AC they should charge him (Davison) to court if the man committed any offence. When they saw that calls were coming from different angles, they called the father that they were going to release the two cars for him and any amount they release to him (Davison) he should manage it, that they are going to send 30 million naira to the IGP, N16 Million to the CP.
“At the end of the day, they (Police) released the two cars, they released the Chevrolet and Toyota Camry car to him. They released only N12 million naira to him and took away whopping sum of over N80 million along with his gold chain valued about N4 million, the two plasma Television, shoes and clothes they carried from his house.
“The IPO even told us to leave Port Harcourt that criminals may come for us. That we should leave Rivers State. I know the CP called him (AC) and he confirmed that they took away almost N100 million from the man’s house? They released only N12 million for the man.
“We are calling for proper investigation the money they have collected should be returned. If the money they have collected from these boys is not returned, the surveillance workers will not be paid.”
However, the State Police Command had dismissed the claims as false, adding that the suspect was arrested on the grounds of cybercrime and rituals.
The Command in a statement by its spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, noted that money huge sum of money was recovered from the home of Davidson and that he was arrested following his inability to defend the source of the cash.
Iringe-Koko said: “The initial grounds for Mr. John’s arrest was rooted in allegations of involvement in cybercrime and ritualistic activities.
“Subsequent to a comprehensive search of his residence at No. 6 Peace Avenue, Ogbelu, Rivers State, Police Operatives discovered substantial sums of money in both domestic and foreign currencies concealed in his premises, notably atop the ceiling.
“Mr. John’s inability to provide a satisfactory account for the origin of this money led to his transfer to the SCID for further investigation.”
Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, said the police had released part of the confiscated money to the suspect to enable him get health attention, adding that the suspect was sick.
PPRO said: “However, it came to light that the suspect had a urinary catheter in his stomach, necessitating a medical assessment.
“Upon consultation with a medical professional, it was determined that his health condition could not endure excessive stress, prompting a decision to release him into the custody of a reliable surety while investigations continued.
Mr. John’s father acted as his surety and requested financial assistance for his son’s medical needs. The Deputy Commissioner of Police granted a partial release of funds on compassionate grounds for the suspect’s healthcare, while the remaining amount was meticulously documented and entrusted to the exhibit keeper.
“Additionally, a gold necklace, reportedly obtained from an undisclosed woman, was also registered with the exhibit keeper.”
“The Rivers State Police Command emphatically reaffirms that the entirety of the money is securely registered and under the custody of the exhibit keeper, thus refuting any insinuations to the contrary made by the suspect, as it is vital to get proper understanding of the reason behind concealing such huge amount of money in cash in his house, as well as not being able to give full account of the monies.”