Hotel killings: Rivers Police arrest suspect

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Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

After barely two months of incessant killings in hotels across Rivers State, the Police said it has arrested a suspect in connection with the dastardly act.

Briefing the press on the matter in Port Harcourt Tuesday,the Rivers State Police Commissioner(CP), Mustapha Dandaura said the suspect was arrested following a distress call from a lady who has been invited by an unknown caller to meet him in several hotels in Port Harcourt. According to the CP, the call was similar to the ones that led to the untimely death of the victims of the recent hotel killings in Rivers State. He said the suspect has made confessional statements to the police, indicative that  he could be part of the serial killers that have dominated public space recently in Rivers State.

The CP assured that the end of the wanton hotel killings in Rivers State is in sight.

He said it would be premature  or even inimical to their investigation to parade the suspect, since he has given the police useful clues that could lead to the cracking of the notorious syndicate.

He recalled that on assumption of office in Rivers State as CP, the major problem that confronted him was kidnapping and armed-robbery along the East West Road and ELele-Owerri Road,which  he said had been effectively tackled. Dandaura said the cult activities in Khana and Gokana areas of Rivers State was a spillover from the war against criminal elements along the East West Road. He promised that soon the people of Khana and Gokana will heave a sigh of relief, as his men are on top of the situation.

“So far we have made substantial progress  in the investigation of these killings.  In one of the cases, the actual murder suspect has been arrested and he is making useful confessions. He would have been paraded today, but we are still working on some clues given by him that may further aid our investigations,” the CP said.

The CP said people should discountenance with information from the social media on the figure of casualties emanating from the recent hotel killings in Rivers State. He said that so far only eight women were killed in the last two months when the hotel killings started in the State.

“As at the last count, we have recorded only eight verifiable cases of hotel murders and they are receiving adequate attention for which the findings will be made public in due course,” the CP explained.

The CP said the two hotels where the last killings took place have been closed down and the Managers, Receptionists and Front Desk Officers arrested. He said they will be prosecuted after investigations if found culpable, to serve as a deterrent  to hotel operators  who have refused to install CCTV cameras in their hotels, as well as comply with other security directives by the police.

The State Police Boss said a tripartite taskforce, comprising the Police, DSS and members of Nigerian Hotels Association, as well as staff of the Ministry of Tourism has been appointed to monitor compliance of the police directive to the hotels. He warned that stiff sanctions await recalcitrant hotel operators.

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