Suspects who burnt BRT buses, 518 others arrested – The police in Lagos on Tuesday paraded 520 suspects arrested for their roles in last week’s violence.
No fewer than 38 policemen were injured; 16 police stations were torched and 13 vandalised by hoodlums who hijacked the #ENDSARS protests, Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu explained.
Among those arrested were those who allegedly participated in the burning of BRT buses and Television Continental (TVC) offices.
Odumosu gave the names of some of the six policemen killed as Assistant Superintendent Yard Edward, attached to Denton Police Station; Inspector Olayinka Erinfolami of the defunct Anti- Kidnapping Unit (AKU); Inspector Adegbenro Aderibigbe, attached to Meiran Division, Sergeant Abejide Abiodun of Department of Operations (DOPs), State Headquarters and two others attached to Orile Division.
He said 58 police vehicles were burnt and 13 vandalised; 62 vehicles belonging to individuals and those connected with some pending cases (exhibits) were burnt and nine other vehicles vandalised by the hoodlums in police premises.
Odumosu said 15 motorcycles and tricycles were torched and 65 vandalised at various locations within the state.
The police chief listed some of the public assets destroyed as including the High Court Complex Igbosere, Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, Broad Street; 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, and FRSC/VIO Office at Ojodu where only the vehicles parked outside the main buildings within their compounds were burnt.
He lsted the 16 Police Stations set ablaze as including Orile, Amukoko, Layeni, Old Area J Command Ajah, Elemoro, New Area J Command Elemoro, Igando, Ebute-Ero, and its barracks and Ilasamaja Police Stations. Others are Makinde and its barracks, Ikotun, Isokoko, Pen-Cinema, Onipanu, Alade Police Stations.
“Thirteen formations were vandalised, among which were Ojo and Ojodu Stations. Police posts burnt include Cele, llogbo-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.
“During the unrest, the police posts that were vandalised by the hoodlums included PPL, Mowo, Morogbo, Ikota and Mawa police posts.
“Some private facilities, as well as other investments that were partly torched and vandalised/looted, include the Oba of Lagos’ Palace; Television Continental (TVC) at Ikosi-Ketu; Access Bank, GTBank and Ebeano Supermarket at Victoria Island; The Nation office at Fatai Atere Street, Mushin; Shoprite Malls at Ajah, LTV 8, Alausa, Ikeja, Surulere; Samsung outlet at Apple Roundabout, Festac; Shoprite at Festac, Samsung Office Oyingbo, etc.
“However, some of the looted items from these outlets/offices have been recovered.
“Based on these incidences, 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.”
Among those arrested, Odumosu said, is one Olamilekan Ibrahim, 19, alleged to have been among those who broke into a commercial bank and carted away cash and other valuables in Lekki.
The police chief said the suspect was arrested with N250,000 alleged to be his share of the loot from the banks, as well as a locally-made pistol.
He said two suspects identified as Ebere Reuben, 29, and Samuel Oyediran, 16, were also arrested by men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) for their involvement in burning of the BRT terminal at Berger and TVC.
They were allegedly caught with left-over of some quantities of petroleum products with which they set the places ablaze.
Odumosu said those arrested were not #ENDSARS protesters, noting that armed hoodlums hijacked the protests and were responsible for series of killings, arson and looting recorded.
“Thorough investigation into the cases has commenced. Members of the public should be rest assured that they will be updated as investigation progresses.
“At this juncture, I will like to appreciate officers and men of this command for their doggedness, gallantry and commitment to maintaining law and order and restoration of normalcy to the state.
“Also, I commend the community leaders and stakeholders for their support in this regard, especially on the recovery of the looted arms and ammunition and valuables. They have been so helpful.
“The command appreciates other sister/security agencies for their support in the struggle for the restoration of peace and harmony to the state.
“Permit me to reassure the good people of Lagos State that we will leave no stone unturned in providing adequate security for all and sundry.
“Emphatically, for the ember months, the command has put measures in place to legally deal with the criminals who might want to foment troubles or deprive law-abiding Lagosians of their property,” he said.
Most of the suspects denied involvement in the violence, alleging that they were picked up randomly during raids.
One Ibrahim, in whose possession several looted items were allegedly found, said he only showed security agents were the items were kept in Ebute Meta.
Some of the suspects, who became dramatic, claimed they were either arrested at the bus stop while going about their legitimate duties or apprehended in front of their shops or near their homes.
As the parade ground became chaotic, the police started returning the suspects into a waiting Black Maria to prevent a breakdown of order.