By Kenneth Ehigiator
As part of measures to stamp out armed robbery around Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja area, the airport police command has arrested no fewer than104 Okada riders and impounded their motorcycles in the last two weeks.
This comes as the command also arrested car thieves who stole a Sangyong special utility vehicle parked at the Murtala Muhammed Intrnational Airporrt public car park.
The arrest followed the expiration of warning served on them by the command, asking them to stay away from the airport, as most of the robbery operations reported at the airport lately had been traced to them.Â They have also been charged to court.
The Divisional Police Officer of Beesam Police station, Mr Omololu Bishi, who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday, said the enforcement of the warning earlier issued to the operators had been total in the last two weeks, stressing that the war on Okada riders at the airport was a continous process.
He said most of those arrested and charged to court were serving police and military personnel.
â€œIt has not been easy enforcing the law on Okada riders at the airpot. As you may well know, most of the culprits are military people, some are policemen.Â But we will not relent, we have charged them to court,â€ Bishi said.
A breakdown of the seizure showed that 55 of the motorcyles were impounded at the international airport division of the command; 23 at the domestic wing; 11 at Hajj Camp and 15 at NAHCo.
Bishi said, though the phenomenon could not be completely stamped out in the area, the command would do everything it could to reduce to the barest minimum the presence of Okada riders at the airport.
In a similar vein, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, Mr. Samuel Anele, said the command had just arrested the car thieves who stole the Ssangyong Jeep of a staff of Plant Quarantine Services where it was parked at the public car park at the internationaal airport,
He said the car, marked TK 41 AAA had also been recovered, while the two suspects, Ikenna Okpara and Akhere Osoria, have been charged to court.
Parading a suspect, Kelechi Igboayaka, who was arrested with assorted wwine drinks and spirits allegedly stolen from some fforeign airlines operating into the country, Anele quoted the suspect as saying that he bought the drinks from some military men attached to Shasha area of the airport who stole them from airlines.
At pres time, the suspect was being charged to court with the drinks, some of which were contained in South African Airways cases.
Also paraded was a driver, Ike Osuigwe, who diverted and removed one carton of lace, valud N185,000, he was paid to deliver to a client by a clearing and forwarding agent at the airport.
Anele said the 37 touts arrested at the airport during the period had been charged to court, and warned others to stay away from the airport.