By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
At least, 49 protesters alleged to have participated in the botched Oodua Republic Mega rally at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom park, Ojota, Lagos, at the weekend are now in police net, the Lagos State Command has disclosed.
Parading the suspects before journalists at the command headquarters, Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu disclosed that a total of six arms, 18 (18) 7.62mm ammunition , 19 live cartridges and one expended cartridge were recovered from the suspects.
He recalled that the Lagos State Government and the Police at a joint press briefing last Thursday, kicked against any rally or gathering in the state due to what he described as unfavourable intelligence gathered on the said rally and advised organizers of the rally and their followers to steer clear of of Lagos state , as the state could not afford a repeat of the hijacked #EndSARS protest that went violent.
Odumosu said, despite the warnings and security explanations, certain individuals came intot he state with the intention to forment troubles under the guise of the said mega rally .
In curtailing their activities which he said portended threat to the security of the state, Odumosu, said, “the command arrested 49 suspects . They include : Bamidele Akomolafe,52; Dauda Abubakare,25;Adebanjo Adedajo,42; Lawal Akeem,21; Abdulsemiu Akanbi,43; Emmanuel Chidiemere,27; Taofeek Abdulsalami,25; Adesina Ibrahim,33 and adeyemi Segun,22 and 39 others.“Items recovered from them include : one pump action rifle, two locale made pistols, four live cartridges, one expended cartridge and stickers with the inscription ‘ Oodua Armed Forces ‘.
“Also recovered were one Opel car with registration number FFF 921, one unregistered Toyota 4 Runner SUV, one Honda car with registration number SMK 248 FC, one Nissan pathfinder SUV with registration number ABJ 348 DB, One Suzuki mini bus with plate number LSR980 YC, one beaded crown, one beaded walking stick, white box containing assorted charms, some Oodua flags and banners, clothes and caps with Oodua Nation inscriptions, some voodoo charm jackets, one traditional calabash containing weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, some mobile phones , clothes, two axes”.
“In addition, the same day (Saturday) around 11.10 pm , the Area Commander,’ H’ , Ogudu whose jurisdiction covers part of Ojota area of the state , got a tip off from a good Samaritan that some objets suspected arms were abandoned behind a car stand , near King David Executive express, Ojota.
When he proceeded to the place, he discovered one AK 47 rifle with (18 ) 7.62mm live ammunition , two locally made pistols with 15 live cartridges were recovered. In summary, a total of six arms, 18 (18) 7.62mm ammunition , 19 live cartridges and one expended cartridge were recovered”, Odumosu said.
“ With these recoveries,coupled with the conducts of the so-called agitators and others , despite repeated warnings from the command and the Lagos State government, trooped out for the planned rally, one could easily infer that they were not in Lagos state for a rally. Rather, for another mission geared towards destabilizing the state, if not nipped in the bud.
“These discoveries and recoveries have authenticated the intelligence report at the command’s disposal and they have also vindicated the command for banning the rally in its press briefing of Thursday July 1,2021. But for the proactive security strategies emplaced by the command towards the botched rally, the entire state would been engulfed in crisis similar to the #EndSARS violence”
The suspects, according to him, would be handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Yaba, for discreet investigation and possible prosecution.
But when one of the suspects was accosted , he denied participating in rally.He said, “ I did not participate in the rally and no pistol was found in my car. I am an Ogboni king. We went for worship in Surulere on Friday night. The service lasted from 11pm to 5am on Saturday.
“I had to sleep because I was going to drive. By 10.30am on Saturday, we left Surulere for Ikorodu. I was to pick one of my drivers at 7up. As I descended at Ojota, some policemen stopped me. When I introduced myself, they said I should go. But they stopped me again and arrested me. There were six people inside my jeep ”.