A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday remanded an erstwhile Police Inspector, Johnbosco Okoroeze, for allegedly aiding the escape from Police custody of Maxwell Ifeanyi Dike, who confessed to defiling and killing an eight year old girl, Chikamso Victory, for the purpose of money ritual.
Johnbosco who had just been dismissed from the Nigerian Police Force, was the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) in charge of the investigation of the murder of Victory, by a 23 year old suspect, Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike who escaped from the police net after he made his confessional statement to the Police on Saturday, August 19.
The accused person, who was arraigned in court on Thursday, by the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, is facing two count charges of conspiracy and assistant to escape of a suspected murderer in suit number PMC/1744c/2017.
The charges read: “That you Johnbosco Okoroeze ‘m’ on the 19th August, 2017 at about 20:30hours at State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCID, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District did assist one Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike ‘m’ who is to your knowledge guilty of the offence of mu7rdeer of one Chikamso Mezuwuba aged 8 years for ritual to escape when he was to be detained for prosecution and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 322 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.
“That you Johnbosco Okoroeze ‘m’ on the same date and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did conspired with a suspect, Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike ‘m’ and allowed him to escape from prosecution to prevent and defeat the course of justice and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 126 (1) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.”
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Sokari Andrew-Jaja, in his ruling said the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain one of the counts of aiding and abetting the escape of a murder suspect. He said the case file of the accused will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, for advice, while the police officer is remanded in prison custody.
The matter was adjourned till September 14, for mention. Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, confirmed that the Police Inspector has been dismissed from the Police having been found guilty of two counts in an orderly room trial according to the rules guiding the operation of the Police Service. The two counts are: negligence and aiding and abetting the escape of a murder suspect.
Ahmed also stated that a second suspect named in Duke’s confessional statement has been arrested by the Police. “I can confirm that a second suspect, Maxwell Ifeanyi Dike, has been arrested and he has made a confessional statement. He is under detention and he is helping the Police in its investigation into the matter”. “The second suspect was arrested this morning (Thursday).
The principal suspect had mentioned in his confessional statement that the second suspect had asked him to procure human parts for the purpose for ritual money making.” “Maxwell Ifeanyi Dike’s accomplice is being interrogated. Any information we get from him will be made available to the public. We have nothing to hide. John Bosco has been dismissed by the Nigeria Police Service Commission.”
The commissioner of Police said the Police was on the trail of Dike, the 23 year old undergraduate student of the University of Port Harcourt, and would soon get him re-arrested. Ahmed appealed to members of the public to assist the Police with useful information that would lead to the arrest of the fleeing ritual killer.
The Police has promised a reward of N1m for anyone who provides valuable information that would lead to the arrest of Ifeanyi Dike. He had confessed to defiling and killing his niece, Victory Chikamso, and removing vital parts from her body. The incident happened at the Eliozu axis of Port Harcourt. Dike was arrested by members of the local vigilante in the area at 1.20.am. on Friday and handed over to the Police at Okoronieze Police Station.