By Adeola Badru, IBADAN
No fewer than 78 suspected members of Oyo State Park Management System, PMS, have been arrested by the state Police Command over violence.
Items recovered from the suspects during the arrest include guns, 724 live cartridges, 25 cutlasses, seven jack knives, 33 mobile phones, one laptop, charms, two vehicles and over N3 million cash.
It will be recalled that Governor Seyi Makinde on Monday, through his Chief of Staff, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi, announced the dissolution of PMS, headed by a former NURTW boss, Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, popularly called Auxiliary.
Addressing journalists in Ibadan, while parading the suspects at the Police Command headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, the Commissioner of Police, Adebowale Williams, said the command in its proactive nature while acting on intelligence-driven surveillance was able to foil an attempt by the suspects at creating carnage and civil disturbance in the state following their dissolution.
He said: “On 30/05/2023 in a strategic intelligence coordinated raid around his location at Diamond Hotel, Alakia-Isebo, under Egbeda Local Government Area of the state, 78 suspected hoodlums, who had perfected plans to unleash mayhem in the early hours of today (yesterday) at major parts of the metropolis were arrested in possession of sophisticated firearms.
“During the raid, sophisticated firearms were recovered inside the hotel rooms and in the trunk compartment of parked vehicles within the hotel.”
He noted that though the PMS chieftain (Auxiliary) was able to escape with some of his boys during the gun battle with the Police, but a member of the group was neutralised during a gun battle with the Police.
Adebowale said the same group was alleged to be responsible for the attack on 14 members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, along Agodi axis in Ibadan North-East Local Government Area of the state enroute the venue of Monday’s inaugural celebration.
“In line with standard operational procedure, all recovered items were properly documented, packaged and recorded for onward forensic analysis and for evidence purposes in accordance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and all other relevant laws,” he said.
He urged residents of the state to cooperate with the police through useful information to help apprehend the sacked PMS Chieftain (Auxiliary).