By Bassey Inyang
The Cross River Police Command has arrested more than 80 hoodlums over their alleged involvement in the vandalism of some government and private property on October 23 and October 24 in Calabar, the state capital.
The command also apprehended those who allegedly looted private offices and homes as well as those who reportedly invaded the office of National Assembly members.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that various empowerment items, including tricycles and stage and sound equipment at the Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC), were said to have been carted away by the hoodlums during the attacks.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Abdulkadir Jimoh, who spoke with journalists yesterday in Calabar, said that the police had recovered some of the looted items.
He urged the traditional rulers, community leaders, faith organisations, youths as well as community policing committees, including the people of the state to expose the looters.
“I want to urge community leaders, youth groups and religious leaders to expose the looters and shame them.
“We have arrested more than 80 suspects and they are undergoing interrogations in our various security facilities.
“Looters have 24 hours to return all the looted items before the house-to-house search gets to them, as recovery of looted items is ongoing,” he said.
Jimoh warned landlords and parents not to hide or cover up for any criminal in their environment, adding that the ongoing house- to-house search was business as usual.
“No criminal element will be spared; no one who vandalised government property or looted personal effects and invaded people’s private offices will go unpunished; they will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“We are already working in synergy with other sister agencies in a bid to fish out the bad eggs as well as recover the looted items.
“I will advise all those who are in possession of such items to, in their own interest, bring them or face justice,” he said.
The police commissioner further said that the command had so far recovered four new tricycles, water heaters, bath tubs, air conditioners, speakers and executive chairs.
He also listed other recovered items to include stage equipment at the CICC, sewing machines looted from a garment factory, fumigation equipment and cartons of pesticides.
Jimoh added that the police would not rest until all the perpetrators of arson and vandalism in Calabar were apprehended.
He also said no stone would be left unturned to ensure that peace returned to the city and the state at large.