BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
LAGOS — Men of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences, yesterday, arrested 183 suspected criminals in two separate operations.
The operation became necessary following increasing cases of robbery, rape, among other crimes.
The suspects who were said to have been rounded up at Oshodi and Mafoluku areas of the state, are currently being detained at Alausa detention camp pending their trial before a magistrate court.
According to the source, 170 suspected hoodlums, mostly youths, were arrested at Oshodi, 13 were arrested at an abandoned pit toilet building at Mafoluku after a tip-off that the public toilet was being used by suspected hoodlums as hideout. The toilet was later demolished by the taskforce.
Also, of the 170 hoodlums arrested at Oshodi, 19 of them are females, including two pregnant teenagers and three nursing mothers.
The taskforce, fully armed and with a Black Maria van, stormed Oshodi around 1.00 am and arrested the suspects while some were said to have escaped.
Chairman of the taskforce, Chief Superintendent of Police, Bayo Sulaiman, while confirming the arrests, said 46 of the suspects had been arrested and jailed in the past.
According to him, their cases will be treated differently, stressing that of the 170 hoodlums arrested, 20 were under-aged boys and eight girls.
Taskforce boss, however, explained that the under-aged suspects would be taken to the state’s Remand Homes for re-orientation and change of attitude.
According to Sulaimon, “we stormed an abandoned toilet at Mafoluku area of the state after a tip-off, in the process, 13 suspected criminals were arrested while two had been set free after they were found to be innocent during screening.”
“My men demolished the toilet to prevent criminals from using the place as hideout as well as perpetrate their nefarious activities in the community, Substantial quantity of Indian hemp was also recovered from the abandoned toilet,” he said.
Sulaiman, added that several women and girls had been raped at the abandoned toilet as the place was always dark at night, saying that its demolition was timely and in order.
“Those arrested would be charged to court today (yesterday) and punished according to the dictate of the law to serve as deterrent to others who might want to continue in the illegal act of hooliganism.