Wife of Radio House ‘bomber’ invited by police
Written by Hir Joseph, Lafia  Friday, 25 May 2012

Janet, wife of John Alaku Akpavan, who was arrested in Abuja on Monday with weapons was invited by the police            to Abuja yesterday, alongside some members of the extended family, including the widow of the late policeman who the suspect named as owner of the weapons.

Janet left Gora, a village along Abuja-Keffi Road, alongside the widow whose name was given only as Mama Sebina, as well as the suspect’s immediate younger brother, Benjamin Akpavan and his wife, Dorcas, and another relative brought from their ancestral village in Burumburum in Lafia. Burumburum is where the late policeman, whose name was given as Corporal Aliyu Clement, was buried, several years ago, the family said.

John Akpavan tried to gain entry into the premises of Radio House, venue of an ongoing ministerial briefing where not less than three ministers and their subordinates, were billed to give account of their stewardship in the last one year, before newsmen. Policemen at the gate of the government facility, which also houses the office of the Minister for Information, as well as headquarters of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), arrested him. He claimed the exhibits he carried belonged to his late elder brother, who served as a policeman in Bayelsa; and that he took them there to present in expectation that his elder brother’s entitlements would be paid.

Daily Trust had earlier visited Gora, where the suspect has been residing alongside other relatives, and met with the wife, who disclosed that her husband was taken to the village in handcuffs the next day, for a search that lasted several minutes.

“They came this morning (May 22) with him (the husband), and searched the whole house”, she said on Tuesday when we visited. She said three plain-clothed policemen, bearing arms, had taken her husband there, for the search. She said the security operatives interrogated her on arrival at the house before embarking on the search.

By yesterday, she and the other relatives left Gora, to report to the police in Abuja, after they had received an invitation the previous day, Daily Trust learnt from neighbours.

The sources said Benjamin, the younger brother, had to leave for their ancestral village to pick his elder brother’s widow and an elder male relative, whose name and status in the family was not given.

“They (Benjamin, the widow and the elder relative), came this morning (yesterday), and met Johan’s wife, and Benjamin’s wife in Gora. Together, they left Gora for Abuja,” said a villager there, who insisted that he had no better and further information on the journey of the three women and two men.

By evening of yesterday, not a word was heard from the suspect’s relatives, villagers at Gora said. But they said they avoided calling their phone numbers for inquiries, for fear of implicating themselves in what they have no hands in.

John’s wife left behind, four children, and Benjamin’s left behind, three, the villagers said, but added that they had no idea where the children were taken to. But they said they knew the relatives left without their children.

John’s house and that of Benjamin were locked for the whole day, the villagers added. But a third brother, whose name was given as Alaku, was said to be around, although he could not be immediately located for comments. Neighbours did not fully cooperate with Daily Trust inquiries, and refused to provide his phone numbers. Daily Trust gathered Alaku is a worker with Bullet Construction Company, although there were no immediate channels of communication to verify that.

Daily Trust called Janet’s phone number, and those of Benjamin and his wife. All numbers were not available throughout afternoon, and evening.

John lives in a one-room shack with his family, deep inside of Gora. A barely motorable road leads from the main road, through the village, on the left side from Abuja, but only a footpath links a visitor to his house.

Benjamin, the younger brother, lives only a few meters from the road, on the same side as his elder brother, the suspect. He too lives in a one-room mud house.

Mama Sebina, the elder brother’s widow still lives at Jiwa in the outskirt of Abuja with her children. But villagers said she travelled home where she was fetched by Benjamin, to be herded to the police in Abuja.

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