Police deny media reports

National, Normal

The National – Monday, February 14, 2011

ENGA police denied newspaper reports that six people, allegedly roaming around with high power guns and terrorising innocent people in Laiagam district, were escapees.
Provincial police commander Supt Martin Lakari told The National last Thursday from Wabag that last Wednesday’s newspaper headline, “Escapee terrorising Laiagam,” was misleading.
Lakari said that if general duty policemen and mobile squad 12 based in Laiagam heard about some people moving around with high-powered guns, terrorising and threatening innocent people, they would have been arrested.
He said the National Court issued a bench warrant last Dec 9, to have the six men arrested following a contempt of court proceedings.
Last April 20, the court ruled in favour of complainant Aukun Kapone and awarded a piece of land in Laiagam station, known as portion 67, to him and ordered the six men to get their property and move out.
They did not move out and build new structure which prompted Aukun to sue them again for contempt of court which resulted in Justice Graham Ellis issuing a bench warrant for their arrest and sentenced five of them to two years each with hard labour in jail.
The five men still at large are identified as Johnny Kuima, Bepi Bob Ipakali, Stanley Tani, Barol Kisam and Steven Kuima.
Another accused, Mark Warren Alu was sentenced to one year jail but the sentence was suspended and he was given two years probation.
Lakari said that if Kapone had produced the bench warrant to the police in Laiagam or Wabag, they would helped him to arrest the convicted prisoners still at large.
He said the complainant did not help the police with vital information and about who these people
were and where they lived in Laiagam district.
Lakari said it would not help when Kapone goes to the media and accused police of their inability to arrest.
He urged Kopane to see Laiagam police station commander or office-in charge of warrant and summons section in Wabag and help identify the prisoners so that the police would go and arrest them
Lakari said that policemen without vital information, could not blindly arrest innocent people.
He said they had to know the prisoners well before arresting them.
Lakari also said that there was no terrorist activities taken place in Laiagam.
He said Laiagam district was peaceful and quiet like any other three districts in the province.