By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
The police in Edo State paraded 126 suspected criminals including 10 prisoners who escaped from the two prisons in Benin when the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums and those who broke into government and private warehouses carting away food and other items they claimed were palliatives for Covid-19.
Some of the escapee prisoners were rearrested when they attempted to snatch a vehicle from its owner and another was arrested when he attempted to kill the prosecution witness used to convict him in court.
Addressing journalists at the State Command, Commissioner for Police, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo the suspected criminals hijacked the EndSARS protest to perpetuate criminality just as he said the police was ready to resume their responsibilities of protecting lives and properties and maintaining law and order urging people to go about their lawful duties.
According to him, five AK 47 rifles, two locally made exhibit guns, one locally-made gun, one Lexus 330 SUV with Reg. No. KWL-205-AZ, one Toyota Camry Saloon car with Reg. No. LSD-231-GD, two bags of 50kg and one 25kg of rice and twenty-four crates of assorted drinks were recovered from the suspects.
He said: “The Command is currently pained by the havoc caused by the mobs and hoodlums, masquerading as protesters who were united by common criminality.
“The stolen arms regrettably will be unleashed on the members of the public. However, as the looting and destruction were taking place, the Police and other security agencies mustard their acts together and were able to arrest some of the arsonists, looters and escapees.”
There was also another development in Jattu in Etsako West local government area where suspected hoodlums tried to break into the Town Hall.
“They were however arrested by some vigilantes and policemen of Jattu Police Division before any damage could be done.”