Residents of Port Harcourt in Rivers State have been reacting to the confessions of Gracious David West, the man the police arrested for alleged serial killing of young ladies in hotels in the city.
Gracious, who was arrested in Bori as he made to escape to a neighbouring state was paraded by the police in Port Harcourt on Friday where he confessed to have killed some of the girls.
He had, however, disclosed that he was not operating with any gang, but killed on impulse.
Ignatius Chukwu, a journalist said the police and the people should not take the suspect for his word. He said Gracious must explain why his killings took a particular pattern
“To me, the suspected serial killer has not said anything to warrant jubilation. He is making sure every answer leads nowhere but back to him. He says he kills on impulse, no gang, but why must every killing be same pattern, must have handkerchief? Let investigation begin, please,”
Ibinabo Gogo-Peters, an indigene of Rivers State based in Lagos, however, was disturbed that the police was making a show out of the confession of the suspect.
“A suspect has been arrested; the police can carry out further investigations to find out if there are more suspects on the run. Charge the case to court.
Ibim Semenitari, who led a mass street demonstration to call for the arrest of the killings, said by refusing to name those that worked with him, the suspect was behaving like a “thoroughly well-schooled gang member when caught. I believe the police know what to do. This is a familiar terrain for them. They can crack it if they want to.”
But China Acheru said he believed the confession of Gracious that he was working alone and not with any gang.
“Why are we trying so hard to believe he was part of a larger group? What if he was indeed acting alone? We cannot be investigating when we are looking for a particular outcome?
“I believe he was working alone. Why was he killing women? He says his mother was poisoned by his step mum. At what point did he have a stressor and start killing? How long has he harboured his disdain for women?
“These questions, the police can get answers to. But it’s not by torture so he confesses. My point is that all possibilities should be explored. He could well be part of a larger group, but let’s free our minds,” he said.
Kaiobari Victor, however, cautions that whatever be the case of the suspect, he should be treated according to the dictates of the law.
Nkeiru Ogwudire thinks, however, that the case against Gracious would not go very far. “Our Nigeria police will not do anything to him,” she doubted.
Ashley Chidi Ekwueme said the development should warn ladies to be cautious and relate only with decent men.
Jenny Atilary said there was more to the confessions that Gracious had made than should be accepted. “I have not heard what I want to hear on this matter. What is his reason for all this? Is it just to collect their money and phones? I doubt this,” she said.
Shadrach King Shadrach questioned the VIP treatment the suspect was being given by the police, stressing that “he is a horrible human being and deserves horrible treatment.”
Elochukwu Nke-Nnanna wondered why the suspect was offered a seat and a decent attire while addressing the press. “This guy is not being treated like the murderer he is. Why give him seat and allow him to dress normal to confess?”
A man who identified himself as New Tribe asked the police to take a mob action on the suspect. “Police should just let the masses do whatever they want to do with him this guy is not supposed to be alive by now,” he added.
Gracious West, who said he was often overwhelmed by forces beyond his control to kill his victims, had confessed to strangling seven women in all, five in Rivers State, one in Lagos and the other one in Owerri.
He confessed to stealing the phones and monies of his victims. An ex-militant and member of the Degbam cult, Gracious said he was rehabilitated by Omega Power Ministries, which helped him secure a job with the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.