By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers State Police Command has confirmed that eight women have so far been killed by suspected serial killers in different hotels in Port Harcourt and environ in the last two months.
The Commissioner of Police, CP, Mustapha Dandaura gave the confirmation during a press briefing in Port Harcourt.
He condemned in the strongest terms, serial killings and called on all people of goodwill to rise to the occasion and join the police to kick out these monsters..
The CP revealed that “in one of the cases, the actual murder suspect has been arrested and he is making useful confessions.
He said the suspect would have been paraded, but that the Police were working on clues given by him that may further aid their investigations.
Dandaura recalled that in the wake of these attacks, he summoned all hotel owners, under the aegis of Nigerian Hotels Association (being the umbrella body) and that they agreed on the need for synergy between hotels and law enforcement agencies.
According to him, “there was a strong directive to the executive members of the association to prevail on their members to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all hotels, guest houses and motels across Rivers State and gave them an ultimatum of one month, within which to do so or face sanction.”
In pursuance of that, he said a Taskforce was constituted, with the clear mandate to enforce the directive and bring defaulting hotels to book, including sealing same for compounding felony.
The taskforce is headed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations, ACP Valentine Olumese, with members made up of persons from the association, Department of State Services (DSS) and Rivers State Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The Rivers Police boss said further that the Taskforce was immediately given the mandate to, among other things, enforce the compulsory installation of functional CCTV cameras in hotels, guest houses and motels in Rivers State, to cover the reception, corridors and entrances and strict compliance to check-in and check-out procedures (guests confirmed, phone details, identity cards, registration of visitors).
The tsk force was also mandated to train hotel staff on security and safety tips, in partnership with the police and other security agencies.
Divisional Anti-Crime Patrols to be seriously engaged by the hoteliers; all hotels with swimming pools were directed to ensure that competent life guards are employed and always available to monitor the activities at the pools and for pools to remain closed, when no life guards are available, as any death from the pools will be treated as premeditated murder, among others.
Dandaura also said all hotel guests would be required to adhere strictly to the hotel check-in and check-out procedures, including ensuring that they were given due security clearance before leaving.
“It has come to my notice and utter shock that some hotels are yet to comply with my directive. Hence, my order to arrest the manager, receptionist and desk officers of the two hotels, where two separate murders were recorded. They will be investigated and if found culpable, will be charged with culpable homicide. So far, we have made substantial progress in the investigation of these killings.”
He appealed to the people of Rivers State to remain calm, as the command was on top of it and would spare no efforts in dealing with the criminal elements.
The Police boss assured that wicked attempts at undermining the efforts of the Command would be resisted and the brains behind them shall be shamed publicly, as they would face the full weight of the law.
LINK ORIGINAL: Pmnewsnigeria