Police, Army Arrest 13 Suspects for Looting, Arson in Edo, Ondo

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city and James Sowole in Akure

The police in Edo State and the military authorities in Ondo State have arrested 13 suspects for alleged looting and arson in the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protests.

The Edo State Police Command yesterday announced the arrest of nine persons in connection with bugling of a rice warehouse in Benin-city, even as the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state in the wake of last Monday orgy of violence that accompanied the #EndSARS protest in the state subsisted.

According to the information on the Edo State Police Command official Facebook page, the NPF Edo Command, the police authorities said the Command received the intelligence report of the burglary and acted promptly.

“Today, October 22, 2020, information received by the Command is that some suspected criminals/hoodlums bugled Omoregie Rice Warehouse located at Upper Sakponba Road in Benin-city. Operatives swung into action and arrested the suspects,” the post stated.

The arrested suspects, as released by the police, are: “Favour Etimumore, 19, female; Chinyere Uyi, 35, female; Desmond Ugiagbe, 24, male; Daniel Duruji, 22, male; Iyoha Godstime, 14 male; Godstime Omosuzi, 15 male; Nelly Monday, 19, female; Philip Ewere, 63, male, and Osas Guobadia, 30, male.

“Investigation is ongoing to ascertain the number of bags of rice that was carted away.”

Meanwhile, the army authorities at the 323 Artillery Brigade in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday confirmed the arrest of four suspected arsonists in connection with the burnt campaign office of the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, in Akure.

Reports had it that they have made useful statements to the military.

Prior to the confirmation of the arrest of the suspects by the army, sources told journalists in Akure last night that “some politicians have gone underground as the suspects made useful and confessional statements to the security agency.

“The suspects were taken to a military formation rather than the police station for obvious reasons.

“The situation does not call for the handing over of the suspects to the police because of the obvious reasons which you know.

“We are shocked to know that most of those people committing this crime under the guise of protest are even outsiders who appear to be imported by politicians who want to take advantage of the situation to create unnecessary problems in the state.”

The source said: “Some influential persons have been mentioned, and we are conducting a thorough investigation so that innocent persons are not implicated for what they didn’t do.”

While confirming the arrest of the suspects, the army authorities said the suspects had been handed over to the police.