• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Ondo security agencies begin operation to flush out criminals in forests


The Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed Amotekun, says the corps, in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Army, Department of State Service (DSS) and other sister security agencies in Ondo state, has commenced another set of clearance operation across forests in the state to arrest criminals using the forests as a hiding place.

Adetunji Adeleye, the corps Commander, disclosed this yesterday in Akure while parading 31 suspects arrested for alleged crimes ranging from kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms, stealing, and vandalism.

He says, “We have discovered that kidnappers have left towns and taken refuge in the forests.

“So, in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, we are embarking on flushing our forests of unscrupulous elements who kidnap people on the roadside and flee back into the woods.

“Criminals must leave our state and allow people going about their legitimate businesses to have peace of mind.”

Adeleye, who doubles as the Special Adviser (Security Matters) to the state governor, also said nine suspects were arrested for alleged kidnapping, five were arrested for stealing, and four were nabbed for vandalism. In comparison, 13 suspects were arrested for illegal possession of firearms and house-breaking.

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His words: “Today, we have 31 suspects that have been terrorizing different areas of Ondo state. All these 31 suspects were arrested within a week of operation across the 18 local government areas of the state.”

“We have nine suspected kidnappers; they attempted to collect ransom from our men, thinking they were members of the family of their victims. We succeeded in arresting three of them, which led us to the remaining six in the Akoko axis.

“We also have five other from Irele LGA arrested for stealing and reselling motorcycles. We have another four from Akure, Okitipupa and Irele LGAs that specialise in vandalizing electrical cables and high-tension wires. One from Okitipupa attempted to attack our men with a gun. So, we are also charging him for illegal possession of a firearm.

“We have another number of suspected criminals arrested for house-breaking and stealing. We have a group that specializes in stealing goats across the state. We arrested them with two vehicles with several goats inside, and we found out that they have a gimmick they use to make the goats not make noise while the operation last.”

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The corps commander said Amotekun also arrested a juvenile robber (name withheld) who adopted the name of na notorious Nigerian armed robber, “Oyenusi”, for stealing in the state.

“We rearrested a young boy we arrested three years ago and took to juvenile for illegal possession of firearms and robbery. At the time, he was 13 years. The best we could do was hand him over to a juvenile centre to see if he could be rehabilitated.

“Right now, he’s 16; this time, he broke into several shops and removed items. He confessed that he had engaged in over 40 housebreaking activities between then and now,” Adeleye said.