#EndSARS protests: Police nab 520 suspected hoodlums in Lagos

Etim Effiong

Police in Lagos have arrested 520 suspected hoodlums, who exploited the #EndSARS protests to carry out arson, robbery, murder, rioting and damage to private and public properties and utilities.

The hoodlums, who were also found with firearms, were said to have broken into a new generation bank and carted away cash and other valuables.

Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, during a press conference on Tuesday, said the police have recovered some of the looted items from Shoprite at FESTAC, Samsung Office, Oyingbo, among others.

He said one Olamilekan Ibrahim, ‘m’, 19, was among those who broke into the bank, adding that he was rewarded with N250,000 as his own share. Odumosu said, “Some of the looted items from Shoprite FESTAC, Samsung Office, Oyingbo, have been recovered. Based on these incidents, the command was able to arrest a total of 520 suspects for various offences ranging from arson, robbery, murder, rioting, malicious damage, and unlawful possession of firearms.

“More importantly, one Olamilekan Ibrahim, “m, 19, one of those, who broke into a new generation bank and carted away cash and other valuables in Lekki was arrested with N250,000, which is his own share of the loot from the banks, and a locally-made pistol.

“Two suspects, Ebere Ruben, 29, and Samuel Oyediran, 16, was arrested by Rapid Response Squad, RRS operatives for their involvement in burning BRT terminal at Berger and TVC station in Lagos State, respectively, with left-over of some quantities of petroleum products with which they set the places ablaze.

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“In light of the above, it is a known fact that the protest was hijacked by armed hoodlums, who have been responsible for series of killings, arson and looting of many shopping outlets in the state.”

Odumosu stated also that the hoodlums set 16 police stations ablaze. The said the stations were Orile, Amukoko, Layeni, Old Area J Command Ajah, Elemoro, New Area J Command Elemoro, Igando, Ebute-Ero, Ajah and its barracks and Ilasamaja Police Stations.

Odumosu said others were Makinde and its barracks, Ikotun, Isokoko, Pen-Cinema, Onipanu, Alade Police Stations, and more. According to him, 13 police formations, which had been vandalized were Ojo and Ojodu Stations.
He added seven police posts were burnt, which included Cele, Ilogbo-Elerin, Shibiri, Defunct Anti-Cultism office, Gbagada, Defunct SARS Office Onilekere, Makoko.

“Again, on Monday, October 19, 2020, a detachment of the command’s Rapid Response Squad were attacked by violent protesters with bottles, stones and cudgels at Adekunle Area of Yaba while being conveyed in four RRS personnel carrier trucks to their various duty posts.

“Nineteen of the RRS personnel sustained varying degrees of injuries in the attack while the vehicles were damaged. By this time, it was crystal clear that the peaceful protest had been hijacked by hoodlums.

“During the recent #EndSARS protest/civil unrest in the following cases/incidents were recorded: Police stations/formations burnt: 16 Police Stations were set ablaze during the unrest. They included Orile, Amukoko, Layeni, Old Area J Command Ajah, Elemoro, New Area J Command Elemoro, Igando, Ebute-Ero, Ajah and its barracks and Ilasamaja Police Stations.

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“Others were Makinde and its barracks, Ikotun, Isokoko, Pen-Cinema, Onipanu, Alade Police Stations etc; Police stations/formations vandalised, 13 formations were vandalised, among which were Ojo and Ojodu stations; Police posts burnt – Cele, Ilogbo-Elerin, Shibiri, Defunct Anti-Cultism office, Gbagada, Defunct SARS Office Onilekere, Makoko,

“Daleko, Ashamu, Makinyo, Amuwo-Odofin, Defunct Anti-Kidnapping Office, Surulere and Old SARS Office Ajegunle; Police posts vandalised during the unrest. The police posts that were vandalised by the hoodlums included PPL, Mowo, Morogbo, Ikota and Mawa police posts; Police personnel killed, six police personnel were gruesomely murdered during the unrest.

“They were ASP Yard Edward, attached to Denton Station, Inspector Olayinka Erinfolami, attached to the defunct Anti Kidnapping Unit, Inspector Adegbenro Aderibigbe, attached to Meiran Division, Sergeant Abejide Abiodun, attacked to DOPS SHQ, and two others attached to Orile Division.

“Civilians killed: Four civilians lost their lives during the crises; policemen injured: 38 policemen from various formations/locations within the state were injured; Police vehicles burnt; 58 police vehicles at various locations within the state were burnt; police vehicles vandalised, 13; Private/exhibit vehicles burnt/vandalised; 62 vehicles belonging to individuals and those connected with some pending cases (exhibits), were burnt while nine vehicles were vandalised by the hoodlums.

“Motorcycles/tricycles: 15 motorcycles and tricycles were burnt, while 65 were vandalised at various locations within the state.

“The following public facilities were set ablaze while some which were partly torched include High Court Complex Igbosere, Lagos Island, Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, Ejigbo LCDA Secretariat, BRT Terminal Iddo (where 67) buses were burnt), City Hall, Lagos Island, COVID-19 Warehouse at Monkey Village, BRT Terminals at Ojodu and Ikotun, Ajeromi Ifelodun LG Secretariat NPA Head Office, Marina, FRSC/VIO Office at Ojodu where only the vehicles parked outside the main buildings within their compounds were burnt.

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“Private facilities vandalised include Oba of Lagos’s palace, Television Continental Station at Ikosi-Ketu, Access Bank, GTBank and Ebeano Supermarket at Victoria Island, the Nation Newspaper office at Fatai Atere Street, Matori, Mushin, where only vehicles were burnt, Shoprite Malls at Ajah, LTV 8, Alausa, Ikeja, Surulere, Samsung Outlet at Apo R/About, FESTAC.”

He added that on Monday, 12th October, some criminally-minded hoodlums attacked the Anti-Kidnapping Unit’s Office of the Command located at Iyun Road, Western Avenue, Surulere, with premeditated intention to liberate the suspected kidnappers detained in the facility.

Odumosu noted that in the process, three of the policemen on duty were shot and critically injured while two suspects were set free, adding that one out of the injured policemen, Inspector Erinfolamin Ayodeji, with one male civilian passer-by, Mr Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo, who were hit by a stray bullet, was later confirmed dead in the hospital.

According to him, thorough investigation into the cases has commenced and assured members of the public they will be updated as investigation progresses.

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