The Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has expressed gladness at the re arrest of fugitive Ifeanyi Chukwu Maxwell Dike by the Nigerian Police.
In a statement in Government House, Port Harcourt, Banigo said although it was gratifying to note that the felon has been recaptured, the police must carry out a detailed investigation to ensure that all those culpable in the gruesome murder of little Miss Victory Chikamso Nmesu, no matter how remotely connected or highly placed, face the full wrath of the law.
“I am a mother, and I know what it takes to go through the three trimesters of pregnancy and the excruciating pain of labour. So, I don’t want to hear any ‘Mungo Park Story’. Everybody involved in this devilish act must be made to pay”, Banigo said.
She commended the police for putting their acts together to apprehend the suspect, and urged them not to delay in bringing him and his cohorts to book, stressing that justice delayed was justice denied.
Banigo, who reiterated the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration’s commitment to safeguard lives and property in the state, advised parents, guardians and caregivers to take necessary steps to keep their children, especially the girl-child safe.
However, the embattled ritual murder suspect, Ifeanyi Chukwu Maxwell Dike has been remanded in prison custody by a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate’s Court in the Rivers State capital for lack of jurisdiction.
The Presiding Chief Magistrate, Court 7, A. Amadi-Nna Esq., while remanding the accused, yesterday, said the court could not entertain the matter based on the grievous nature of the charge brought against him, and adjourned the matter sine-dine.
The chief magistrate, however, ordered that the case file be sent to the Chief Registrar for onward transmission to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice, and further ordered that the murder suspect be remanded in prison custody while the DPP’s advice was being awaited.
The Tide reports that Ifeanyi Chukwu Maxwell Dike, aged 24, was arraigned by the police on one-count charge bordering on alleged murder of an eight-year old girl, little Victory Chikamso Nmesu on charge sheet No. PMC/1897c/2017.
The Tide gathered that the offence is punishable under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. 11 laws of Rivers State of Nigeria.
Earlier in an interview with newsmen, the prosecution counsel, Superintendent of Police, Enoch George, who led the police legal team to the court, told journalists that their expectation on the matter and evidences at their disposal would certainly bring justice and equity to bear on the accused in order to deter would-be criminals in the society.
Also speaking, counsel to the accused, Mr. Lezina Amegua said they were prepared to adequately represent their client on the matter, adding that laws were not swayed by emotions nor justice determined by mere feelings.
He averred that the court was right in its decision to decline jurisdiction, and added that they will await the DPP’s advice before the next line of action.
The Tide reports that Ifeanyi Chukwu Maxwell Dike was conveyed to court on an air-conditioned Toyota Hiace bus with registration number FG128-F80 amidst tight security within and outside the Rivers State Judiciary Complex.
The Tide further reports that the incident caused heavy traffic around the Bank Road axis of Port Harcourt as many people trooped out to have a glimpse of the world most notorious young man of the moment.
The Rivers State Police Command, had last Monday, paraded Ifeanyi Chukwu Maxwell Dike before newsmen after he was transferred from Plateau State Police Command where he was arrested for robbery.
The state Commissioner of Police, Zaki Mohammed Ahmed while briefing journalists said Dike’s re-arrest was made possible by God Almighty through numerous prayers and concerns following his escape three weeks ago.
Ahmed promised that the command will remain resolute in its avowed determination to rid the state of criminal elements, even as he solicited unalloyed support from members of the public in crime fighting.
Earlier in an interview, Ifeanyi Chukwu Maxwell Dike had told journalists that he gave his elder sister’s phone number to the police in Plateau State because he was tired of hiding.
He also claimed that nobody aided his disappearance from the Rivers State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), three weeks ago.