In one of his last operations in June 2001, his daredevil gang descended upon the Achalla Police Station in Awka North Local Government with all the fury left in Hell. Nigerian policemen scampered off for dear lives while Derico and his team conducted a surgical operation on the police station. By the time they were gone, they went with seven police assault rifles. That particular operation was so dangerous that Derico did not go all alone with his gang, he called for collaboration with another gang from Umuleri. They were planning to rob a bank in Asaba, the Delta State capital and they needed heavy weapons to carry out their heist.
The Nigerian Police requested that Derico be handed over to them so they could continue with the investigation and eventual prosecution but the Bakassi Boys simply ignored the request, brushing it aside just as a Gbagura woman would the idea of a junior wife. For the Nigerian populace that was already (and is still) highly distrustful and suspicious of the Nigerian Police, their overwhelming support went straight to the Bakassi Boys. Some of them asked whether the Nigerian Police officers were on sedatives all the time Derico was terrorizing the whole state, killing and robbing as he desired. Many were in support of Derico being dispatched to the Hereafter as soon as possible and without wasting the fraction of a microsecond. But how was Derico nabbed?
The operations launched by the Nigerian Police were vast but the net did not catch the big fish. In one of the operations, six operatives from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and Bakassi Boys left Awka, the Anambra State capital and headed for Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, where Derico was based. They almost caught Derico but he escaped. Two of his deadliest lieutenants were however, arrested. Derico fled, abandoning his amazing cache of weapons, amulets and charms. With the heat on him, Derico scampered off and was on the way to his hometown, Onitsha. On getting to Agbor, where he maintained an armed robbery base, he alighted from the bus for a short stop-over. The Bakassi Boys got the wind of Derico’s movement and decide to ambush him. They mobilized at the end of the Niger Bridge which linked Asaba with Onitsha and stayed round the clock hoping to catch the very elusive Derico.
The beginning of the end for Derico was on a Tuesday night, the 3rd of July, 2001. Derico ran out of luck that very night at the Bridge Head (Niger Bridge) in Onitsha. He was on a commuter bus coming from Asaba in Delta State heading towards Onitsha when the vehicle ran into a checkpoint mounted by the Bakassi Boys. He was identified and arrested by the Bakassi Boys who stated that Derico was found with an ‘unspecified’ identity card that was reported to have been signed by a ‘highly-placed indigene of the state’. The name of the ‘influential’ figure was not mentioned.
THE END OF DERICO
Captured criminals were savagely beaten, mutilated, dismembered and even set on fire, all without trial. After heaping the…