Master Emmanuel Apiakise, a 15-year-old pupil of Community Secondary School, Akenfa-Epie in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has allegedly been arrested in possession of a gun.
Apiakise was arrested on Tuesday (today) in the school during classes, allegedly with a locally-made pistol, a development that caused chaos and pandemonium in the school.
It was learnt that the teenager was apprehended in school uniform by some indigenes of the Akenfa community led by a local vigilante group and handed over to the police.
It was also learnt that the pupil was accosted and searched by the vigilante youths after some residents accused him of being involved in robbery and other criminal activities.
Some sources claimed that Apiakise was arrested in the classroom after a tip-off by some of his schoolmates.
But the school’s authorities dismissed the claim, insisting that Apiakise is not pupil of their school.
A member of the school’s management team, who pleaded anonymity, said, “The boy (Apiakise) was not arrested in the classroom as alleged.
“The uniform he wore is common among pupils in the state and so, it is not correct to say he is a pupil of the school. ”
The arrested teenager was said to have been handed over to the Akenfa Divisional Police Station for onward transfer to the state Police Headquarters.
When contacted, the spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said he needed time to confirm the report and that he would get back to our correspondent.
However, as of the time of filing this report, Butswat had yet to call back.
It will be recalled that four teenage gunmen suspected to be members of an unknown cult group, recently attacked a secondary school in the state capital.
The teenage gunmen, who brandished assault rifles, caused pandemonium in the school as confused students and staff in different directions for safety.
The invasion of the school, however, came a few hours after the Bayelsa State Government, through the Ministry of Education, expelled seven pupils over their alleged membership of a cult group.
The government had expressed concerns about the existence of cult activities in some schools in the state, particularly primary and secondary schools.
The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, had said, “Ssome students from a certain secondary school in Opolo-Epie have been expelled with immediate effect for engaging in cults and cult-related activities within the school premises.
“The suspects attacked and injured an SS3 student, endangered the lives of other students as well as disrupted smooth academic activities in the school.”
When contacted, spokesman for Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the arrest of the teenager.
Butswat said, “The suspected cult member was arrested with locally-made pistol on Monday at about 9.30am.
“The suspect, one Emmanuel Apiakise, is 15 years old and a resident of Agudama area of Yenagoa Local Government Area. Investigation is ongoing.-PUNCH