Charles Nwoke, Lagos, Nigeria.
Local news, fair use.
Following the #EndSARS protests in Lagos State and subsequent turn of event, where hoodlums, criminals, and arsonists took over the once peaceful state to commit various forms of criminality and killings, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has paraded 520 suspects with some alleged recovered stolen and looted items.
CP Odumosu in a press briefing on Tuesday said it was regrettable that once peaceful protests took a violent turn on Monday, October 22, 2020, when some criminally minded hoodlums at the Surulere protest venue cashed in on the precarious situation to attack the Anti-kidnapping Unit Office of the command located at Iyun Road, Western Avenue, Surulere, with premeditated intention to liberate suspected kidnappers detained in the facility.
While parading the suspects, some of who were arrested for various offenses ranging from arson, robbery, murder, rioting, malicious damage, and unlawful possession of firearms, the command specially paraded Olamilekan Ibrahim, Male, aged 19, who broke into a new generation bank and carted away cash and other valuables in Lekki.
He was found in possession of N250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand nairas), which was his share of the loot.
Among the criminals were two suspects, Ebere Ruben, 29 years, and Samuel Oyediran, 16 years arrested for their involvement in the burning of the BRT terminal at Berger and TVC station, respectively.
Also among the suspects was a man who refused to speak with journalists; he was arrested wearing a police inspector’s uniform.
Most of the suspects claimed that they were innocent, while some of the female suspects who spoke with our correspondent, said that they were picked up for violating the curfew imposed by Lagos State.
Items recovered from the suspects included cars, guns, cash, electronic items such as plasma television, fans, sound systems, clothing, toiletries, jewelry, and other household items.
CP Odumosu said all those whose property was stolen should approach the Lagos Police Command with evidence of ownership to pick up recovered items, even as he promised that efforts were being made to recover more items from the criminals.
The police boss who lamented the loss of six police officers, four civilians, stated that 38 police officers were injured and that some police officers were yet to recover from the injuries got during the period.
He said that 16 police stations were set ablaze, 13 police stations and formations vandalized, 13 police posts were burnt, four police posts vandalized, 58 police vehicles at various locations across the state were burnt, 62 vehicles belonging to individuals and those connected to pending cases (exhibits) were burnt.
He said that nine vehicles were also vandalized, 15 motorcycles and tricycles were burnt, while 65 were vandalized. The CP also lamented the destruction and vandalization of public and private property, stressing that the destruction, looting, and arson were unprecedented.
While commending Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and the good people of Lagos State for supporting the police in discharging its duties, the commissioner reassured Lagos residents that the law enforcement agency would leave no stone unturned in providing adequate security for all and sundry.
He stressed that the command had put measures in place to legally deal with the criminals who might want to foment troubles and deprive law-abiding Lagosians of their peace in the ember months.