No fewer than 126 suspects were on Wednesday paraded by the Edo State Police Command in connection with the jailbreaks, looting, and vandalism in the wake of the #EndSARS protest, which rocked Benin City and other parts of the country.
Specifically in Benin, several warehouses and shops were vandalised and looted by hoodlums, while there were jailbreaks in the Benin and Oko Medium Security Correctional Centres where over 1,993 inmates escaped.
Giving the breakdown of the arrests, the state Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo, said 106 suspects were arrested for breaking stores, looting, and arson.
He also disclosed that 10 escapees were rearrested, while 10 others were arrested for other offences.
The rearrested escapees were named as Emmanuel Udoh, Friday Etim, Victor Akpotor, Lucky Precious, Osarumen Enoragbon, Patrick Eguavoen, Abraham Matthew, Endurance Ifobuow, Mohammed Adamu, and Henry Atadi.
Mr Kokumo said, “The Command wishes to brief members of the public on the “EndSARS” protest, which was consequently hijacked by hoodlums and mobs who went berserk wreaking havoc majorly in Benin metropolis.
“As you are all aware, the hoodlums burnt down police stations, carted away arms and ammunition, raped women in some areas, killed policemen on their gory path to destruction, freed convicted criminals and felons, looted businesses and extorted innocent Nigerians.”
He said the command was pained by the havoc caused by the mobs and hoodlums, masquerading as protesters who were united by common criminality.
The official regretted that the stolen arms would be unleashed on the members of the public.
He, however, said that as the looting and destruction were taking place, the Police and other security agencies put their acts together and were able to arrest some of the arsonists, looters, and escapees.
Some of the recovered rifles by Edo Police Command on Wenesday
Mr Kokumo said that as the situation was subsiding, some unscrupulous elements in Jattu, Edo North, who were planning to break into the Town Hall were arrested by some vigilantes and policemen of Jattu Police Division before any damage could be done on October 26.
“Also, on 27/10/2020, at Oliha Market Junction, Benin City, two armed robbers named Michael Peter ‘m’ and OZ Esi ‘m’ were arrested by officers of the Nigerian Army, attached to 4 Brigade Headquarters, Benin City for allegedly attempting to snatch a Honda Civic Car with Reg. No. AA-261-AY from one John Destiny of No. 40 Agbonlahor Street, Aduwawa, Benin City.
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“Some of the suspects arrested are four hoodlums; Charles Okoeguale ‘m’, Ojo Osamiemwenfan Igbinoba ‘m’, Gift Osayiwu ‘m’ and Osasumwen Imanawe ‘m’, who was seen with police rifles, uniforms and other accoutrements carted away by hoodlums who invaded the several police stations during “EndSARS” protest,” Mr Kokumo said.
The Commissioner of Police said the exhibits recovered include five AK 47 rifles, two locally made exhibit guns, one locally-made gun, one Lexus 330 SUV with Reg. No. KWL-205-AZ, one Toyota Camry Saloon car with Reg. No. LSD-231-GD, two bags of 50kg and one 25kg of rice, and 24 create of assorted drinks.