By Olusola Babarinsa
A 24-year-old graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (name withheld) has alleged that a suspect already in police custody robbed and raped her at gunpoint at a hotel in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on July 11, 2023.
The victim also identified her phone among the phones recovered from the suspect when she came to lodge a complaint at the Force Headquarters in Awka on Tuesday.
The suspect, who gave his name as Akuchieani Echezona, a male resident of Ifite Awka, was disarmed and arrested at a popular hotel in Awka on July 20 by a team of surveillance operatives from the Anambra State Police Command.
He was subsequently taken into custody at the State Criminal Investigation Department, where he has been making confessional statements.
Following the publication of the suspect’s photo, the victim stormed the Force Headquarters and identified the suspect and her stolen phone among the phones in his possession.
She stated that the suspect was among the criminals that abducted her when she boarded a tricycle along Ifite to Aroma Junction in Awka on July 11.
She said the suspect and his gang took her to a hotel within the area, dispossessed her of her personal belongings and raped her before she was allowed to go.
The state police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the development, adding that the suspect admitted to robbing the victim at gunpoint but denied the rape charge.
Ikenga said, “Following the publication of a picture of the gunman arrested at a popular hotel in Awka two days ago by the Anambra State Police Command, a 24-year-old graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University has come forward to allege that the suspect robbed and raped her at gunpoint at another hotel in Awka on July 11, 2023.
“She stated that the suspect was among the criminals that abducted her when she boarded a tricycle along Ifite to Aroma Junction on 10/7/2023, took her to a hotel within the area, dispossessed her of her personal belongings and raped her before she was allowed to go.
“The victim, who looked traumatised, identified her phone among the phones recovered from the suspect.
“When interrogated on the new allegation, the suspect admitted to robbing the victim at gunpoint, but denied the rape charge. He also provided names of his two accomplices.”
He added that two more pistols have been recovered from the suspect through the management of the hotel he lodged.
“Management of yet another hotel where the suspect lodged, on seeing the police publication, had alerted the Police that the suspect lodged in one of the hotel rooms before his arrest at another hotel.
“Detectives then proceeded to the hotel and searched the room where he lodged, only to discover two more Berreta Pistols among his personal effects.
“Information has been received that the suspect is responsible for the murder of at least two persons in separate incidents in Awka in the last three months,” Ikenga said.
He, however, stated that the Commissioner of Police, CP Aderemi Adeoye, has ordered detectives to leave no stone unturned in their investigation in order to protect society and get justice for victims of the suspect’s alleged crimes.
He also urges residents to report suspicious persons and unusual movements they may observe to the nearest police station, through the command emergency number 112, or call 07039194332 for a prompt response.
He said the suspect is to be arraigned in court after the investigation is concluded.