Operators of Point Of Sales, popularly known as POS, and other shop owners along Ikot Ambang, Itak, Ikot Efun in Ibiono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have heaved a sigh of relief following the killing of one Wisdom Sunday Akpan, a notorious criminal and killer who terrorised the residents of the area.
Until he was killed by Operatives of the Command’s Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Team, Wisdom would kill his victims after dispossessing them of their cash and valuables in broad daylight.
In one of his operations, a National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, member serving in the State was killed after Wisdom robbed her of her money and phone.
Another victim, Jesse Johnson, made a post on her Facebook wall shortly after the news of the death of Wisdom spread, disclosing how she was robbed of her money, phone and eventually shot by the said Wisdom at Ikot Ambang Junction when she came to withdraw money from a POS operator.
Jesse, who thanked God that she lived to give the testimony, disclosed that 16 pellets were extracted from her body, noting that she consistently receives shock at the slightest noise due to the incident.
She said, “His reign, though momentary, was filled with terror, agony and pains; 8th July 2023, a day I will never forget all my life.
“I travelled to Uyo on Friday, 7th July 2023 and got home at exactly 10:10 pm. Saturday morning the following day at 8:15 am, I decided to go to the market, but made a stop over at the POS point to make withdrawal. Greeted the guy and brought out my ATM card to give him. Next thing I heard was run ooooo.
“Before I could run, as everyone took to their heels, I heard gunshots and saw myself on the ground. The devilish animal called Wisdom had gunned me down and ran towards me….Long story short, with blood dripping from my back and arm, the race for a police report and transit to Uniuyo Teaching Hospital.
“Next hurdle was the dilemma of no bed space. My brother was told to take me to Anua hospital. Like I’m literally panting for breath and this? How can I come and die in the hospital?
“Here I am with the pellets moving all over me; thirsty; on fire and gasping for breath. All I could say was that I cannot die like a chicken, like my Pastor would say.
“Took the timely intervention of the State Police PRO, Odiko Macdon. Thank you Sir. I’m indebted.
“Here I am today after 16 pellets have been taken out and yet still left with others inside me. I get electric shocks intermittently. I get panic attacks at any loud sound or motorcycle sound. I have always been a survivor and I know I’ll survive this.
“I have received several calls today on this boy’s death and all I can remember is my Pastor at Dunamis International Gospel Centre Uyo, Pastor Usman Samson praying for me with the whole church and saying that his days were numbered. Jehovah thank you!
“Many thanks to the PPRO, Odiko Macdon (you made me have faith in the Force). I’m still in my element. Still in shock. Still recuperating psychologically and all. I know God will perfect what’s remaining and the last of the pellets will be out.”
The Police PRO in the State, Odiko Macdon corroborated the lady’s testimony, noting that she survived by grace and a stroke of luck.
He promised that the command would continue to make the State safe.
According to police statement, Wisdom who was the remnant of a dreaded armed robbery gang, led by the late Malachi Uwem Friday, had killed over 13 persons, including one Nsikan Vincent Udo of Ikot Inua village at Ikot Efun junction whom he killed and made away with his new Q-link motorcycle.
His activities compelled many POS operators and supermarkets who were his targets to relocate for fear of not just being robbed but losing their lives.
An eyewitness to the killing of Wisdom said as usual he (Wisdom) came to a supermarket at the Ikot Ambang Junction to rob in the afternoon without knowing that about four operatives of the SWAT on mufti had positioned themselves at strategic places in the building.
The eyewitness, who identified himself as Ekemini, said as soon as Wisdom sensed danger that those men could be policemen, he opened fire on them but the bullets were not penetrating.
“When he noticed what was happening, he started shooting them (police officers) and they were laughing at him. There was smoke everywhere and everybody ran away leaving him and those police officers there to battle. It was like a movie.
“It was as if he became tired because none of his bullets was entering the police and he dropped his gun on the ground and wanted to run away, but one of the officers took his (Wisdom) gun from where he dropped it and shot him on the head; immediately, he fell down and one of his eyes came out.
“There was jubilation all over the place. We are really happy and we thank the police for eliminating this terror. Even when the police carried the corpse on a wagon to go to their headquarters, people were following the vehicle hailing the police and praying that such a person would not return to this place because our people have suffered.”
Another resident interviewed, who did not want his name to be mentioned, said Late Wisdom used to rob at night and would go hiding in an interior village before relaunching attack on innocent citizens.
He said, “it was believed that Wisdom had a powerful charm that would make him disappear or a bullet would not penetrate him. Because of that, he robbed and killed in daylight unperturbed; he felt he was indestructible due to the charms.”
Meanwhile, it was observed that POS operators who ran away from the area due to the activities of Wisdom are returning.
According to one of the returnees who claimed that he was robbed of two hundred thousand Naira by Wisdom, his life had not been the same because the money was a loan from a micro finance bank.
He said, “I have been here for over three years, until that guy came to torment everyone. The day he came was in the morning, I was just bringing out my table, I saw someone who came and said, ‘hand over the money’, honestly I didn’t know what came over me, I didn’t argue, I just handed over the small bag I was carrying which contained a total of N200,000. I learnt that he later shot one girl after robbing.
“I really thank the Akwa Ibom State police command for eliminating that guy, may God bless them. It was as if the guy was more powerful than everybody because he killed at will, saying that nothing will happen.”
Away from that, residents of Afaha, Udo Udoma have raised alarm over the new wave of armed robbery in the area.
In a radio program in Uyo, the callers said when the robbers come to your doorstep, they would mention your name, tell you everything about you and ask you to come out else they would break the door and kill you.
They urged the police to intervene.
However, the Commissioner of Police, CP Olatoye Durosinmi has warned criminal elements to turn a new leaf or relocate from the State as he would continue to eliminate them and make the State safe for Akwa Ibom people.