POLICE officer, Inspector Johnbosco Okoroeze, who allegedly   aided  the  escape of a ritualist, Ifeanyichukwu Dike, 23,  who  is said to have killed eight years old Victory Chikamso in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has been dismissed by the Nigeria Police.
This was disclosed in Port Harcourt  yesterday by  the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zaki Ahmed.
According to the police boss, Okoroeze, who  was  the Investing Police Officer (IPO) in charge of  the  ritual murder  case, was  dismissed by the Police Service Commission (PSC).
Besides his dismissal, Okoroeze was   also  arraigned at the Chief  Magistrate’s Court  in Port Harcourt yesterday  on  a  two-count charge of aiding the escape of the ritualist and assisting  the  murder suspect  to pervert  justice.
The Police Commissioner  disclosed that Dike’s accomplice in the crime has  also been arrested by the police.
Ahmed, who could not disclose the identity of the second suspect, explained that the prime suspect mentioned his name, as  the  client who hired  him (Dike) to procure human parts  for  money rituals.
“During interrogation, Dike linked him to the murder of the eight years old girl,” he said.
Also, the River State Police Command  has promised  to  give a cash reward of N1 million to anyone who  could give  the  police useful information that would lead to the arrest  of Dike.
Meanwhile, a Chief Magistrate’s  Court in Port Harcourt  has ordered  that  the   former  policeman be remanded remand  in prison.
Okoroeze, 34, wept  profusely  as  he was brought to the court in handcuffs in a bus with number plate FG  128 F50.
Count one of the charge against him reads: “That you Johnbosco, on the 19th of August, 2017, at about 2030 hours at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did assist one Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike, who is to your knowledge guilty of the offence of murder of one Chikamso Mezuwuba, aged eight years, for rituals, to escape when he was to be detained for prosecution and, thereby, committed an offence punishable under Section 322 of  the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol.II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.
The second charge stated: “That you, Johnbosco Okoroeze, on the same date and place in the aforesaid magisterial district, did conspire with a suspect, Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike, and allowed him to escape from prosecution  to prevent and defeat the course of justice and, thereby, committed an offence punishable under Section 126 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Vol.II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.”
However, when the case  came up  for mention, the charges against him were not read and plea was not taken as  the first count was a capital offence, which attracts, at least, life imprisonment.
Chief Magistrate Sokari Andrew-Jaja, said the accused was facing charges for assisting a suspect to escape from custody, and committed an offence,  which, on conviction, attracts life imprisonment.
Andrew-Jaja also said the former Inspector was accused of perverting justice, stressing that any person found guilty of the offence would serve seven years in prison.
The chief  magistrate, however,  declined to listen and determine the first count due to lack of jurisdiction. But he said he had the legal standing to entertain and determine the second charge.
He, therefore,  told  the court registrar to remit the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice, and urged the counsel in the matter to file their addresses on whether bail should be granted to the suspect or not.
He adjourned the case till September 14, 2017, for adoption of bail application and the DPPs’ legal report.
The suspect now at large had allegedly defiled, killed and mutilated vital parts of Chikamso Mezuwuba.
Dike was arrested at about 1:30 am  on Saturday, August 19, 2017,  by  a vigilance group in Eliozu area of Port Harcourt,  while  on his way to dispose of the remains of  the victim .
After  the suspect was paraded at  the SCIID the same Saturday  and statements obtained from  him, he escaped  from  police custody and has since not been re-arrested.

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