The Rivers State Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Akin Fakorede, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), has maintained that policemen did not kill an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ferry Gberegbe, during the March 9 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state as alleged. He declared that the late Gberegbe, who until his death was a lecturer with the Rivers State government-owned Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori-Ogoni, was a cult leader and was eliminated by cultists.
In a telephone chat with The Nation, Fakorede, a lawyer, expressed surprise that the Rivers Chairman of PDP, Chief Felix Obuah, could accuse him and some SARS operatives of killing the party’s agent.
The SARS commander, while testifying on May 6 before the investigating members of the Joint House of Representatives’ Committees on Army, Police, Human Rights and Justice, led by the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Army, Ri mande Shawule Kwewum, at the Rivers House of Assembly, Port Harcourt, stated that Gberegbe died of food poisoning.
Obuah, in an online statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needam, however, alleged that SARS operatives killed the lecturer.
The Rivers PDP chairman described as heartless, callous, awful to the ear and unimaginably conscienceless the testimony of Fakorede, concerning the dastardly killing of Gberegbe. Obuah faulted Fakorede’s testimony before the committee members and expressed shock that the SARS commander could deny his involvement and responsibility for the barbaric act, which he claimed Fakorede personally masterminded.
But Fakorede in the telephone interview said: “I represented the police at the public hearing. We only called for an autopsy to be conducted to determine the death of Dr. Gberegbe.
We also placed before the committee members, intelligence report at our disposal. “We know for a fact that Dr. Gberegbe was not shot by the police. We have credible intelligence on the circumstances that led to his death and we simply put the intelligence in the public domain, through the committee, along with our findings.
Why was the deceased taken to a hospital 60 kilometres away, when many well-equipped hospitals are closer to the scene of the incident?” The SARS commander also revealed that the late lecturer died on March 16, 2019 at St. Patrick Hospital, Port Harcourt and not during the March 9 elections in BoriOgoni, as alleged.
He said: “Dr. Gberegbe was at all times a part of the plot that eventually took his life. He was killed by his friends and associates, and not by his foes. Most certainly not by SARS or any police unit or operative. He was shot at Elimgbu by pipeline, not too far from his residence along Court Road, Port Harcourt and not in Bori in Khana LGA, as alleged.
“The bullet that landed Dr. Gberegbe in the hospital was not fired from the barrel of a police riffle, but from the mouth of a locally fabricated pistol. He did not die from gunshot injury, but from cardiopulmonary arrest (heart attack) accentuated by food poisoning.
He was a well and healthy man on the day he died. He died on March 16, 2019 at exactly 10:05 p.m., with a bowl of poisoned food in his hands. He shouted for help in the middle of a meal and gave up the ghost and that ended a long drama in which he had joined to write the script, intended by all the conspirators to cover up a huge fraud in which thieves without honour decided to outwit one another and enjoy a booty meant for many party faithful.
“Dr. Gberegbe was a leading member of Deywell cult gang. During the March 9, 2019 governorship election, his role was to coordinate and supervise the various cult groups in their assigned roles. The money for all the cult groups, running into several millions of naira, was handed over to him for disbursement to relevant actors. It was his attempt to outmaneuver members of his group that led to his death.”