Lagos State police command yesterday said 49 persons have been arrested in connection with the botched Yoruba Nation Mega Rally fixed for Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota, Lagos on Saturday.
While parading the suspects before journalists at the command’s headquarters, the commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosu said six arms, (18) 7.62mm ammunition, 19 live cartridges and one expended cartridge were recovered from the suspects.
He said despite the warning and security explanation, some individuals came into the state with the intention to foment trouble under the guise of the said rally.
In curtailing their activities which he said portended threat to the security of Lagos, Odumosu said, “The command arrested 49 suspects. They included Bamidele Akomolafe, 52; Dauda Abubakare, 25; Adebanjo Adedajo, 42; Lawal Akeem, 21; Abdulsemiu Akanbi, 43; Emmanuel Chidiemere, 27; Taofeek Abdulsalami, 25; Adesina Ibrahim, 33 and Adeyemi Segun, 22 and 39 others.
The items recovered from them include one pump action rifle, two locally- made pistols, four live cartridges, one expended cartridge and stickers with the inscription “Oodua Armed Forces”
Also recovered from them, according to Odumosu, were one Opel car with registration number FFF 921, one unregistered Toyota 4 Runner SUV, one Honda car with registration number SMK 248 FC, one Nissan Pathfinder SUV with registration number ABJ 348 DB, one Suzuki mini bus with number plate LSR980 YC, a beaded crown, one beaded walking stick, white box containing assorted charms, some Oodua flags and banners, clothes and caps with Oodua Nation inscriptions, some voodoo charm jackets, one traditional calabash containing weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, some mobile phones, clothes and two axes.
He said the same day (Saturday) around 11.10 pm, the area commander,’ H’, Ogudu whose jurisdiction covers part of Ojota area of the state, got a tip off from a good Samaritan that some objects, suspected arms were abandoned behind a car stand near King David Executive Express, Ojota.
The commissioner said when he (commander) proceeded to the place, he discovered one AK 47 rifle with (18) 7.62mm live ammunition, two locally-made pistols with 15 live cartridges were recovered.
In summary, a total of six arms, 18 (18) 7.62mm ammunition, 19 live cartridges and one expended cartridge were recovered, Odumosu said.
“With these recoveries, coupled with the conduct of the so-called agitators and others, despite repeated warnings from the command and the Lagos State government, trooped out for the planned rally, one could easily infer that they were not in Lagos State for a rally. Rather, for another mission geared towards destabilising the state, if not nipped in the bud.
“These discoveries and recoveries have authenticated the intelligence report at the command’s disposal and they have also vindicated the command for banning the rally in its press briefing of Thursday, July 1, 2021. But for the proactive security strategies emplaced by the command towards the botched rally, the entire state would have been engulfed in crisis similar to the #EndSARS violence,” he said.
The suspects, according to him, would be handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department, (SCID), Yaba, for discreet investigation and possible prosecution.
But one of the suspects was accosted and he denied participating in rally.
He said, “I did not participate in the rally and no pistol was found in my car. I am an Ogboni king. We went for worship in Surulere on Friday night. The service lasted from 11 pm to 5am on Saturday.
“I had to sleep because I was going to drive. By 10.30am on Saturday, we left Surulere for Ikorodu. I was to pick one of my drivers at 7-Up. As I descended at Ojota, some policemen stopped me. When I introduced myself, they said I should go. But they stopped me again and arrested me. There were six people inside my Jeep,” he said.