The Nigeria Police Force on Monday said it arrested 21 suspects over the March 8 killings and destruction of property in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Force Spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, Chief Superintendent of Police, made the disclosure in Abuja when he presented the suspects before newsmen.
He named the suspects as Eluwole Akeem, Kuburat Eluwole, Ayoola Abimbola, Bello Wahab, Taiwo Fakuwajo, Ademola Ademiluyi, Peter Omisope, Adefisan Isaac, Adelekan Kehinde and Elufisan Akintoye.
Others were Omisanmi Isaac, Olanrewaju Daniel, Seyi Akinyobo, Adejube Monday, Olanrewaju Adebayo, Akanbi Adeyinka, Obimankinde Samuel, Zakariyu Abdulyekini, Bamidele Elusanmi, Jimoh Sakiru and Clement Kehinde.
He explained that 39 suspects were arrested after the crisis and 18 were released after diligent investigation for want of evidence against them.
Moshood said the remaining 21 were found culpable for direct and indirect participation in the killing of innocent people.
The spokesman added that 46 persons were killed and 96 others were hospitalised in the crisis that ensued.
He noted that the special intervention force deployed to Ile-Ife to quell the crisis did not engage in indiscriminate arrests as being reported in some media.
He said the crisis started on March 7 when a Yoruba and Hausa groups started throwing stones at each other, following an alleged altercation between Kuburat Eluwole and Abubakar Mohammed.
“The riotous groups were dispersed and calm was restored,” he said.
He pointed out that the responding police teams maintained presence at the Sabo area of Ile-Ife till the next day.
He advised traditional rulers, religious leaders, politicians and parents and guardians to support the personnel of the special intervention force in the state.
He said the 21 suspects would be prosecuted on completion of investigation, while the 18 were released unconditionally.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, had deployed a Police Special Intervention Force (SIF) to Ile-Ife, Osun, to restore lasting peace in the area.