Former governorship candidate in the 2015 general election, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has pledged the sum of N500,000 reward for any person that can give useful information that will lead to the re-arrest of one Ifeanyi Dike, a wanted murder suspect who escaped from police custody on Saturday.
Dike, a 200-level student of the University of Port Harcourt, was earlier arrested by the police in connection with the gruesome murder of an eight-year-old Miss Victory Chikamso Nmezuwuba.
The fleeing felon is also accused of raping the minor and cutting some vital parts of her body in what is being alleged to be for ritual purpose.
Peterside, who spoke through his Media Team, expressed worry over the ugly incidents and cautioned that the fleeing Dike remained a threat to the people of Rivers and neighbouring states.
“We must all rise and condemn this heinous crime. What could an eight-year-old girl have done to deserve this wicked act? What kind of future are we trying to give our children? Are we trying to say that our girls are no longer safe? Are we saying that our girls do not have future?
“Please, I do not want my action to be seen through a political prism. The dastardly act should be a concern for all of us as Rivers people. Let us join hands with the police and ensure the re-arrest of Ifeanyi Dike,” he added.
Peterside, who is also the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency called on the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State and other sister security agencies to leave no stone unturned in their effort towards the re-arrest of the suspect.
Meanwhile, doors and gates of some houses on Messiah Close in Eliozu axis of Port Harcourt have remained locked since the suspected ritual killer escaped from police custody.
It was gathered that parents living within the place, who became afraid when they learnt that Dike, had fled from the State Criminal Investigation Department, decided to keep their children indoors while they attend to their businesses.
A resident of Messiah Close, who identified himself as Donatus, observed that though school children were currently on vacation, it was obvious that the abduction of Chikamso, her eventual murder and the escape of the culprit had forced most people living within the close to keep their gates locked.
“We were afraid since the incident happened and the moment we heard that Ifeanyi Dike had escaped from the police, some people staying here are afraid. For me, I don’t want to leave anything to chance. That is why I have also ensured that my doors and our gate are locked.
Our correspondent, who was at No. 7, Messiah Close, where the suspect was living before he allegedly killed Chikamso in his room, observed that the entrance to the building was locked while the landlord and his family had gone out of the compound.
A resident of the area, who identified herself as Cynthia, said they had been living in fear since last Saturday when the news of the incident came to their knowledge.
She recalled that some security agents had visited the house where the fleeing suspect was staying, but could not gain entrance because the gate had been locked by the landlord.
Meanwhile, the mother of the deceased, Mrs. Lucy Nmezuwuba, vowed that those involved in the death of her eight-year-old daughter, including the dismissed police sergeant, Johnbosco, would pay for their action.
“They (Police) should come and ask me how old I am, where will I bring another child to replace this one? Am I still a young mother? Where will I get another child to replace this one?
“The police have the mind to allow Ifeanyi to escape so that my daughter would just go like that. God is watching them. The blood of Victory Chikamso shall continue to follow each of them. Victory cannot just die like that.
“The God that created her will not allow her killers and the accomplices to go scot free. God shall make all of them pay for her death, from their biggest Oga to the lowest, Johnbosco. The police shall all pay for it,” she said.
“One Chief Ugochukwu was mentioned by Ifeanyi and everyone has been silence about it. The police did not say let us go and investigate or arrest Ugochukwu or even invite him for questioning. Nobody is talking about Ugochukwu.
“I suspect foul play from the police; a very serious foul play. From Okporo Police Station, they hurriedly transferred the case to state CID so that they could sweep it under carpet. Can you imagine that it is at the State CID that a murderer, a rapist escape!”