520 suspects held, looted items recovered
The Lagos State Police Command yesterday paraded 520 suspects in connection with looting of shopping malls and private businesses in Lagos, just as it disclosed that 10 persons, comprising six policemen and four civilians, were killed, and 38 cops injured during violent protests that erupted last week in the state.
The police also said 16 police stations were burnt and 13 vandalised by hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protests across the state, while it lost 58 patrol vehicles to the hoodlums.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, who paraded the suspected hoodlums arrested during and after the protest at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, said apart from the 58 police vehicles burnt and 13 vandalised, 62 vehicles belonging to individuals and those connected with pending cases (exhibits) were burnt and nine other vehicles vandalised.
He added that 15 motorcycles and tricycles were also burnt and 65 vandalised at different locations in the state.
According to Odumosu, the six policemen killed were ASP Yard Edward, attached to Denton Police Station; Inspector Olayinka Erinfolami of defunct Anti-Kidnapping Unit (AKU); Inspector Adegbenro Aderibigbe attached to Meiran Division, Sergeant Abejide Abiodun of Department of Operations (DOPs), State Headquarters and two others attached to Orile Division.
Sixteen Police Stations were set ablaze during the unrest. They included Orile, Amukoko, Layeni, Old Area J Command Ajah, Elemoro, New Area J Command Elemoro, Igando, Ebute-Ero, and its barracks and Ilasamaja Police Stations. Others were Makinde and its barracks, Ikotun, Isokoko, Pen-Cinema, Onipanu and Alade Police Stations.
Thirteen formations were vandalised, amongst which were Ojo and Ojodu stations. police posts burnt included Cele, llogbo-Elerin, Shibiri, Defunct Anti-Cultism Office, Gbagada, Defunct SARS Office, Onilekere, Makoko, Daleko, Ashamu, Makinyo, Amuwo-Odofin, Defunct Anti-Kidnapping Office, Surulere and Old SARS Office, Ajegunle. Police posts that were vandalised by the hoodlums included PPL, Mowo, Morogbo, Ikota and Marwa police posts.
Odumosu, who gave details of public facilities that were either burnt or touched, said High Court Complex, Igbosere, Lagos Island; Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centres at Broad Street, Lagos Island; Ejigbo LCDA secretariat; 67 buses at BRT terminal, Iddo; City Hall, Lagos Island; COVID-19 warehouse at Monkey Village; BRT terminals at Ojodu and Ikotun; Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA secretariat; NPA head office, Marina; FRSC/VIO office at Ojodu, where only the vehicles parked outside the main buildings within their compounds were burnt.
“Some private facilities as well as other investments that were partly torched and vandalised/looted included Oba of Lagos palace; Television Continental Station at Ikosi-Ketu; Access Bank, GTBank and Ebeano Supermarket at Victoria Island; The Nation Newspaper office at Fatai Atere Street, Matori, Mushin, where only vehicles were burnt; Shoprite malls at Ajah, FESTAC and Surulere; LTV 8, Alausa, Ikeja; Samsung outlet at Apple Roundabout, FESTAC and Oyingbo. However, some of the looted items from these outlets/offices have been recovered,” he said.
The police boss, who acknowledged that those arrested were not peaceful #EndSARS protesters, stated that it was a known fact armed hoodlums hijacked the protests and were responsible for series of killings, arson and looting recorded.
He said based on the incidents, the command was able to arrest a total of 520 suspects for various offences, ranging from arson, robbery, murder, rioting, malicious damage and unlawful possession of firearms.
He noted that Olamilakan Ibrahim was among those who broke into a new generation bank and carted away cash and other valuables in Lekki. He said the suspect was arrested with N250,000, which was the suspect’ own share of the loot from the banks, and a locally-made pistol was recovered from him.
“Also, two suspects, Ruben, 29 and Samuel Oyediran, 16, were arrested by RRS operatives for their involvement in burning of the BRT terminal at Berger and TVC station respectively.”
He said the two suspects were nabbed in possession of left-over of some quantities of petroleum products with which they set the places ablaze. He added that thorough investigation into the cases had commenced, and members of the public should be rest assured that they would be updated as investigation progresses.
He, however, assured citizens to go about their normal duties as the command had reclaimed the public spaces.But most of the suspects denied involvement in the violence, alleging that they were picked up randomly during raids. One Ibrahim in whose possession several looted items were allegedly found, denied the accusation, insisting that he only showed security agents where the items were kept in Ebute-Meta.
Some of the suspects, who became dramatic, claimed they were either arrested at the bus stop while going about their legitimate duties or apprehended in front of their shops or near their homes.
As the parade ground became chaotic, the police started returning the suspects into waiting Black Maria to prevent breakdown of order.