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Apostle Michael Akpor, Two Other Policemen Accused Of Murder Exonerated, Hold Thanksgiving Service To Appreciate God

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Apostle Michael Akpor, Two Other Policemen Accused Of Murder Exonerated, Hold Thanksgiving Service To Appreciate God

The General Overseer of the Palace of God Bible Church, off Uti Road, Effurun, Delta State, Apostle Michael Akpor and the two Policemen attached to him, Asp. Mesoro Victor and Inspr. Ignatius Achazie, , who were accused of killing two persons on Tuesday 12th July, 2022 at Ugbolokposo Community in Effurun, Delta State have been vindicated and exonerated.

According to reports from those who claimed to be witnesses, on Tuesday 12th July, 2022 between the hours of 6:00pm and 7:00pm, a commercial tricycle conveying three (3) passengers at Ugbolokposo Community in Effurun, Delta State hit and scratched a black Jeep and a man in Police uniform came down from the black Jeep and shot severally at the tricycle killing the two (2) passengers at the back seat, the rider of the tricycle sustained a bullet wound on his left shoulder while the lady at the front seat survived unhurt.

The reports of the alleged witnesses had it that the registration number of the said black Jeep was covered, adding that the V.I.P sat at the back seat of the black Jeep and wore white native attire.

It was alleged that the black Jeep and the Police escort were suspected to be that of Apostle Michael Akpor.

The question many had asked was whether Apostle Michael Akpor is the only V.I.P that lives within Ugbolokposo Community and its environs or ply Ugbolokposo Community road that has a black Jeep with a Police escort?

The man of God received the news of the allegation of murder levied against him with a great shock.

Consequently, the man of God and the said Policemen were invited by the Ebrumede Divisional Police Headquarters and as law abiding citizens of Nigeria, they honoured the Police invitation in my company as their Counsel on Friday 15th July, 2022.

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In a statememt, Austin Nyekigbe, Esq., Human Rights Lawyer, said: “Upon arrival at the Ebrumede Divisional Police Headquarters, we were informed by the Divisional Police Officer that the case had been transferred to the Delta State Police Headquarters, Asaba and as a result, Apostle Michael Akpor and the two Policemen were transferred to the Delta State Police Headquarters, Asaba on the same day. I was part of the journey from the Ebrumede Divisional Police Headquarters to the Delta State Police Headquarters, Asaba. The Police at Asaba commenced a thorough and discreet investigation into the allegation of murder levied against the man of God and the two Policemen the moment we arrived Asaba and I was physically present throughout the period of the Police investigation on that day and the subsequent days, including the visit to the scene of crime, visit to the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara and visit to the Warri Central Hospital mortuary to inspect the Corpses. I was also in attendance at the numerous oral interviews held in the course of the investigation.”

Adding: “In the course of the discreet and dispassionate investigation by the Police, the following facts emanated from the Witnesses;

1. Joseph Hilary who claimed to be a Witness stated that Ella Obayendo, the lady who survived unhurt, Daniel Essien, the survived tricycle rider and others visited him on the day of the incident and that Ella Obayendo is Daniel Essien’s fiancé. Whereas, the said Ella Obayendo revealed that she does not know the said Daniel Essien talk more of being his fiancé and that she boarded the commercial tricycle as a passenger.

2. In the course of the numerous oral interviews held, Festus Ebereri “M” who claimed to be an eyewitness said he was among the persons who were in the tricycle at the time of the incident. Whereas, Daniel Essien, the tricycle rider said he carried only three (3) passengers, one female, Ella Obayendo at the front seat and two male, Charles Okpako & Ejiro Ekeipovwe at the back seat and that the two male are the persons shot dead. This contradiction made me to ask a question during one of the oral interviews that who is Festus Ebereri and where was Festus Ebereri in the tricycle? The Police Authority requested the said Festus Ebereri to respond to my question but he could not.

3. The statements of Joseph Hilary & Festus Ebereri were taken in the absence of the two victims who survived the incident and without Joseph Hilary & Festus Ebereri having the opportunity of first hearing the side of the story of the two victims who survived the incident. Joseph Hilary & Festus Ebereri made efforts to change their story after Daniel Essien & Ella Obayendo had given their versions of the incident to the Police but they could not as their statements had already been signed by them before the Police. We made frantic efforts to secure the presence of Daniel Essien, the tricycle Rider, before the Police at the Delta State Police Command. The statements of Ella Obayendo and Daniel Essien revealed that they did not see any of the accused persons at the scene of crime at the time of the incident. The statements of Daniel Essien & Ella Obayendo corroborated each other.

4. To ensure that justice is done and not only seen to be done in the case, we also made efforts to produce and secure the presence of an eye-witness, Susan Akindele “F” before the Police. Her evidence was heard and documented. Her evidence corroborated the evidence of the two victims who survived the incident.

5. Festus Ebereri who claimed to be an eyewitness identified Asp. Mesoro Victor as the Policeman that shot the two deceased persons. Whereas, the movement register of Special Protection Unit (SPU), Base 25, Asaba revealed and confirmed that the said Policeman, Asp. Mesoro Victor was not with Apostle Michael Akpor and was not in Effurun and its environs at the time of the incident. The said Policeman was nominated for election duty at Osun State and left Effurun for the election duty at Osun State before the time of the incident.

6. Festus Ebereri who claimed to be an eyewitness, also stated that if he sees the black Jeep he saw at the scene of the incident, he will recognize it. Consequently, the only black Lexus Jeep belonging to Apostle Michael Akpor was confiscated by the Police and paraded amongst five (5) other black Jeeps for Festus Ebereri to identify. At the end of the identification parade, Festus Ebereri stated that the black Jeep he saw at the scene of the crime is not among the six (6) black Jeeps paraded before him and he made an additional statement to the Police to that effect.

7. Apostle Michael Akpor was at the Palace of God Bible Church, off Uti Road, Effurun, to attend a church programme on the day of the incident. He arrived the church premises at about 12:00noon, stayed till about 9:00pm before leaving the church premises. Whereas, the incident occurred at about 6:00pm at Ugbolokposo Community. Apostle Michael Akpor drove a green coloured range over sport car and did not cover the registration number and usually does not. Apostle Michael Akpor wore black coloured clothes on the day of the incident. The Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footages of the church premises revealed and confirmed the time Apostle Michael Akpor arrived the church premises and the time Apostle Michael Akpor finally left the church premises on the day of the incident. The CCTV footages also confirmed the make and colour of the car and the colour of clothes Apostle Michael Akpor wore on the day of the accident. I ensured that the said CCTV footages were watched by the Police Authority and made part of the evidence.

“At the close of investigation, the Police prepared a Police Investigation Report. I have obtained a Certified True Copy of the said Police Investigation Report and I have read same. The Police Investigation Report also revealed and confirmed the above facts and found in favour of Apostle Michael Akpor and the two Policemen. The Police Investigation Report reads in part thus:

“… 4. FINDINGS: In the course of investigation coupled with the oral interview held and the black Lexus Jeep paraded for identification by the acclaimed eyewitness, Festus Ebereri ‘m’ the following facts emerged:-

i. A case of Murder of one Charles Okpako ‘m’ and Ejiro Ekiepovwe ‘m’ was reported at Ebrumede Divisional Police Headquarters on 14/07/2022 by one Erhiga Omavovwe Andrew ‘m’ accompanied by one Rhoda Ese Okpako ‘f’.

ii. One Daniel Essien ‘m’, the driver of the commercial tricycle conveyed three (3) passengers viz: a girl and two (2) boys namely, Ella Obayendo ‘f’, Charles Okpako ‘m’ and Ejiro Ekiepovwe ‘m’ at Ogbolokposu Community.

iii. While reversing the tricycle along Ogbolokposu road, the rider accidentally hit a black Jeep with the tricycle’s side mirror.

iv. A Policeman came down from the black Jeep, released a gunshot into the air first and started shooting at the tricycle.

v. The bullets hit the two (2) passengers sitting at the back seat and they died on the spot while the rider of the tricycle escaped with a bullet wound on his left shoulder and the girt escaped unhurt.

vi. The tricycle rider confirmed he was carrying three (3) passengers and not four (4) as stated by the eye witness, Festus Ebereri ‘m’ in pages A12 and A12a of the case file.

vii. The black Lexus Jeep was paraded amongst five (5) other black Jeeps for Festus Ebereri ‘m’ to identify as he claimed he knows the Jeep, but failed to identify; he made additional statement on page 12b of the case file to that effect.

viii. Festus Ebereri ‘m’ who claimed to be an eye witness identified ASP. Mesoro Victor as the Policeman that shot the two deceased dead.

ix. An inspection of the movement register of the SPU Base 25, Asaba contradicted the claims of Festus Ebereri ‘m’ as ASP, Mesoro Victor left on 12/07/2022 at 1630hrs for a special duty to Osun States tagged “Osun Guber election”.

x. The two (2) rifles issued to the two (2) Policemen were issued with thirty (30) rounds of live ammunitions each which are all intact.

xi. The Church of the 1st suspect, Apostle Michael Akpor ‘m’ is located off Uti Street, Effurun while the incident occurred at Ogbolokposu Community.

xii. The Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footages clearly confirmed that the 1st suspect, Apostle Michael Akpor ‘m’ came out of his vehicle at the Church premises at about 1200hrs and entered the vehicle to leave the Church premises at about 2100hrs while the incident happed at about 1800hrs.

5. CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION: In view of the findings above, it is crystal clear that the suspect, Apostle Michael Akpor ‘m’ was going on with his religious business in the Church as at the time of the incident…”

It is in the light of the above glaring, irrebuttable and uncontroverted evidence, facts, findings and more that Apostle Michael Akpor and the two Policemen attached to him who were accused of killing two persons at Ugbolokposo Community were exonerated, vindicated and released on bail without more.

Apostle Michael Akpor and the two Policemen are innocent. The Police Investigation Report revealed and confirmed this fact.

Innocent Nigerians have been accused of offences they never committed and some did not live to prove their innocence. Some are in prison today for offences they never committed. It is in recognition of this fact that Apostle Michael Akpor is thanking God, acknowledging His hands in the Police investigation process and for exonerating him.”

“I sympathize with the families of the deceased persons,” the lawyer said.

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