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    Police arrest 49 Yoruba Nation agitators, others with charms, guns

    The Lagos State Police Command has paraded 49 suspects arrested in connection with Saturday’s Oodua Republic mega rally at Ojota. Those paraded include 47 men and two women.

    Some of the suspects, according to Commissioner of Police (CP) Hakeem Odumosu, were intercepted and found with guns, axes, Oodua flags, Yoruba Armed Forces vests and other items. Others were arrested at the protest ground in Ojota.

    Odumosu said some people came into the state to foment troubles under the guise of the mega rally, adding that the recovery of dangerous weapons, charms and other items vindicated the command’s stance against the rally.

    The CP explained that information at the command’s disposal revealed that some of the suspects came into Lagos from Oyo State. He identified some of those arrested as Bamidele Akomolafe, 52, Dauda Abubakare, 25, Adebanjo Adedayo, 42, Lawal Akeem, 21, Abdulsemiu Akanbi, 43, Emmanuel Chidiemere, 27, Taofeek Abdulsalami, 25, Adesina Ibrahim, 33, and Adeyemi Segun, 22.

    He said: “Items recovered from them include an Opel car marked FFF921RY, an unregistered Toyota 4Runner SUV, one Honda Accord with registration number SMK248FC, a Nissan Pathfinder SUV with registration number ABJ348DB, two Suzuki minibuses with registration numbers AKD458YD and LSR980YC, one beaded crown and beaded walking stick.

    “Also, a white box containing assorted charms, some Oodua nation’s flags and banners, clothes and caps with Oodua Nation inscriptions, some voodoo charm jackets, one traditional calabash covered with beads, a black bag containing weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, some mobile phones, clothes, two axes, one pump action rifle, two locally made pistols, four live cartridges and an expended cartridge, and many others.”

    The police boss added that the Area H Commander, acting on a tip-off around 11:10 pm on Saturday, recovered arms hidden behind a car stand near King David Executive Express, Ojota.

    He said the items found there were one AK47 rifle with 18 7.62mm live ammunition and two locally made pistols with 15 live cartridges.

    “In summary, a total of six arms, 8 7.62mm ammunition, nineteen live cartridges and one expended cartridge were recovered.

    “With these recoveries coupled with the conducts of the so-called agitators and others that, despite repeated warnings from the command and Lagos State Government, trooped out for the planned rally, one could easily infer that they were not in Lagos for a rally, rather for another mission feared towards destabilising the state, if not nipped in the bud.

    “These discoveries and recoveries have authenticated the intelligence reports at the disposal of the command. They have also vindicated the command for banning the rally in its press briefing of Thursday, July 1.

    “In as much as the command respects and protects rights of every citizen in the state, it will not fold its arms to allow any group of persons or certain individuals to truncate the peace being enjoyed in the state now.

    “But for the police’ proactive security strategies emplaced by the command towards this botched rally, the entire state would have been engulfed in crises similar to the 2020 #EndSARS violence.

    “The suspects being paraded will be handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, for discreet investigation and possible prosecution,” the police boss said.

    Odumosu said each would be charged based on the crime committed.

    He said the suspects would be profiled and thoroughly investigated by the police before they would be charged to court.

    On the case of the young girl killed at Ojota by a stray bullet, the police boss said investigations were still ongoing, adding that forensic examination would be conducted to arrive at how she died.

    “We cannot conclusively say what really happened; that was why I said investigation is ongoing. The investigation will determine whether it was a bullet that killed her or not and what type of bullet. This will involve forensic examination and you know there are experts who do it, so it is not something for the police alone,” he said.

    However, one of the suspects paraded, Oba Tajudeen Olarenwaju, who said he was an Ogboni King, denied taking part in the rally, insisting he and five other occupants in his vehicle were returning from a rite they usually performed every first Friday.

    He claimed that the vigil held at Surulere and because he was driving, he decided to rest well before leaving for Ikorodu, insisting that he was picked up inside his vehicle simply because he was dressed in his full regalia.

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