A Deputy Superintendent of Prisons in the Nigerian Prisons Service, Mr. Collins Ugwu, has been arrested by the Police in Enugu on suspicion of armed robbery.
Ugwu, a native of Ezza in Ebonyi State, who resides in Abuja where he works at the headquarters of the Nigeria Prisons Service, was reportedly caught in Enugu on June 26.
The senior prisons officer was arrested alongside alleged accomplices — Ifeanyi Ozor, a native of Enugu State who is also residing in Abuja; and Smart Osetu, from Oguta in Imo State.
Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, Mr. Mohammed Danmallam, disclosed this while parading the suspects.
He alleged that, apart from armed robbery, the prisons officer and his gang were also involved in conspiracy, malicious damage, stealing and ‘obtaining by tricks.’
The Enugu Police chief said that Ugwu and others were apprehended after the Police gathered intelligence information on their activities.
According to him, the gang hung around the premises of commercial banks to monitor prospective victims who had come to withdraw money.
Danmallam alleged, “The suspects (Ugwu, Ozor and Osetu) belonged to a syndicate that specialised in monitoring anyone that had gone to the bank to make withdrawals and trailed them to a point where they could smartly force the door or the windscreen (of the victims’ cars) open with their instrument and steal the said amount.
“They were also a part of a syndicate that bought goods from traders and generated fake payment alert to the owners of the goods without him knowing.
“They were nabbed along Ogui Road, Enugu, by the operatives of the Enugu State Police Command on June 26, 2018, following intelligence information gathered concerning their nefarious activities.”
Items allegedly recovered from the suspects, according to Danmallam, included a Golf car with registration number Abuja RBC 220 KF, and a broken plug which they allegedly used in ‘scratching down’ windows of cars when they wanted to steal from their victims.
Ugwu rebuffed attempts by journalists to get him to explain why a Deputy Superintendent of Prisons would venture into armed robbery and other criminal activities, especially after witnessing, at close quarters, the harsh treatment meted out to criminals in Nigerian prisons.
Sitting quietly on the bare floor, Ugwu refused to respond to questions. He also bowed his head in order to prevent journalists from taking photograph of his headshot.
The Police commissioner further explained that Ugwu and the other suspects were already helping the Police in their investigations and that they will soon be charged to court.