Paul Obi in Abuja
The Nigerian Police yesterday paraded suspects caught in the Ile-Ife crisis in Osun State, which led to several deaths and destruction of property.
Police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said the arrest of the suspects was due to efforts of combined forces deployed to the area.
He said: “It will be recalled that consequent on the unfortunate clashes, disturbance of public peace and mayhem that occurred in Ile-Ife on March 8, 2017, which resulted in the loss of innocent lives, destruction of property worth millions of naira, and the need to put an end to the crisis, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, deployed Police Special Intervention Force, comprising five units of the Police Mobile Force (PMF) specially trained anti-riot policemen, five cells of Counter Terrorism Unit, conventional policemen, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Intelligence Response Team, Technical Intelligence Unit, SIB, detachment of EOD, Police K9 (Sniffer Dogs Section), with their headquarters in Ile-Ife, led by the Commissioner of Police in charge of PMF, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
“The operations covered the entire Ile-Ife and its environs, as well as other trouble spots in the state, and was successfully executed, leading to the arrest, detention and investigation of 38 suspects out of which 20 were found culpable for direct and indirect participation in the killing of innocent people, maiming and destruction of properties of the victims worth millions of naira. They will be prosecuted on completion of investigation, while the remaining 18 suspects have been released unconditionally for lack of prima facie evidence against them yet.
“The affray which arose from an altercation between the said Kuburat and Mohammed, was amicably settled on March 6, 2017.”
Moshood explained that “based on the report at the Moore Police Station, a case of conduct likely to cause breach of peace was made against Kuburat and Mohammed and on getting to the scene; the police team met two groups comprising Hausa and the Yoruba people throwing stones at each other.
“The riotous groups were dispersed and calm was restored. The responding Police teams maintained presence at Sabo area of Ile Ife up till the next day.
“Unexpectedly, on March 8, 2017, the peace of the area was shattered with the eruption of crisis that led to the gruesome killings of 46 people. A total of 96 other persons were taken to Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) out of which 81 of them were treated and discharged, while 15 of the victims are still on admission receiving treatment.
“The Police Special Intervention Force deployed to quell the crisis did not engage in indiscriminate arrests as being reported in some media but worked on actionable intelligence and other information gathered during and after the crisis.
“And that is why 18 suspects found not to be involved in the crisis were released unconditionally.
“Traditional rulers, religious leaders, public office holders, politicians, opinion leaders, parents and guardians are hereby called upon to prevail on their subjects, supporters, children and wards to support the personnel of the Police Special Intervention Force still on ground in Ile Ife and other flash points in the state in the discharge of their responsibilities, and propagate peace, demonstrate love and tolerance to promote harmonious coexistence with their brothers and fellow citizens, irrespective of religious, ethnic or political inclinations and differences.
“The IG hereby assures the good people and communities of Ile-Ife and other parts of the state of adequate security and protection of their lives and property,” Moshood stated.
Some of those arrested are: Eluwole Akeem, Eluwole Kuburat, Ayoola Abimbola, Bello Wahab, Prophet Taiwo Fakumajo, Oba Ademola Ademiluyi and Ademola Olaide.
Others are Adejuba Damilare, Adewoyin Saheed, Akindoyin Olawole, Akobi Olatunji, Ibrahim Yinusa, Ibrahim Yahusa, Shehu Nura, Suraju Maijega, Inuwa Aminu, Umar Isiaka, Aminu Umaru, Awofesonbi Adewale, Peter Omisope and Adefisan Isaac.
The list also included: Adelekan Kehinde, Elufisan Akintoye, Omisanmi Isaac, Olanrewaju Daniel, Seyi Akinyombo, Adejube Monday, Olanrewaju Adebayo, Akanbi Adeyinka, Obimakinde Samuel and Alhaji Zakariyau Abdulayekini.