Inmates of Benin Medium Security Correctional Centre and Oko Medium Security Correctional Centre who escaped from the facilities on Monday October 19, have been given till Friday October 23 to return voluntarily or face the wrath of the law.
Governor Godwin Obaseki gave the ultimatum while on an assessment tour of the affected NCoS centres and the police stations that were burnt in Benin City by the hoodlums. He was accompanied by his deputy, Philip Shaibu; a deputy inspector-general of police, Celestine Okoye; the state commissioner of police, Johnson Kokumo; representatives of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps, among others.
Obaseki who stated that his government would not sit down and watch hoodlums operate in such a manner, added that the attacks on the security facilities were orchestrated by criminally minded people.
“You will agree with me that this is not in the spirit of the #EndSARS protest. This is sheer criminality while the real protesters were focusing on the reform of our policing system and not to destroy government property, destroy prisons, and release inmates.
“So, you can tell that there were some criminal intentions behind these acts and the #EndSARS protest in Edo was hijacked by criminal and they used the opportunity to come and release their colleagues who were held in our correctional centre.
“We condemn the act wholeheartedly and we expect that even the #EndSARS protesters would join us in condemning this dastardly act. The government cannot sit down and fold its arms to allow the breakdown of law and order in our society because everybody would be affected and having undertaken the assessment and seen the extent of destruction that has taken place, we would now move swiftly into action.
“Fortunately, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, understanding the gravity of what has happened in Edo has asked the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Celestine Okoye, to come to Benin to put the situation under control. We are also fortunate that the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces has allowed the military to join the police in stabilising the situation to bring things under control.
“I want to use this situation to thank the law-abiding citizens of the state for having the presence of mind call while different parts of the state were being attacked in the guise of EndSARS protest. What we have a problem with are hooliganism and sheer brigandage and that we will not accept or tolerate in Edo State.
“We know that some of the inmates may have been released by their plan and others used the opportunity to get out of the facilities. We are using this opportunity to appeal to all inmates in our correctional services who have escaped to come back on their own before the close of business on Friday, this week.
“If they come in and go to the Nigeria Police Force Command headquarters in Benin City, nothing will be done to them. However, those who do not report back after Friday night, we have all their records, we have their biometrics, we would go after them and ensure that we bring them and the appropriate sanction will be meted against them.”
Police re-arrest four prisoners who escaped from Edo prison
Four prisoners who escaped from Oko Prison during the #EndSARS crisis have been re-arrested by the police.
The suspects were paraded at the Nigeria Police Force tactical unit in Abuja, alongside others who were arrested for various offences bordering on armed robbery, car theft, unlawful possession of weapons, illegal dealing and selling of weapons.
The prisoners who escaped from the facility have been identified as Adebayo Opeyemi, Oloride Benjamin, Peter Osas, Hudu Musa and Frank Odion.
While Mr Opeyemi is a dismissed soldier, Mr Benjamin was convicted and sentenced to death and Mr Musa had nine months remaining to serve out his prison term.
It was gathered that the suspects have snatched a total of four vehicles since their escape. Mr Benjamin on the other hand, snatched a vehicle 30mins after he escaped because he needed to leave Benin City.
Northern Governors are not against disbandment of SARS – Governor Lalong
Governor Simon Lalong has made a clarification on the stance of Northern Governors on the disbandment of controversial police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Lalong who is the chairman of Northern Governors Forum on Wednesday November 18, said they are not against the scrapping of SARS contrary to some misconceptions in some quarters.
“The Northern Governors Forum is not against the disbandment of SARS as misconstrued in some quarters. We rather caution against the blanket condemnation of the police that can erode the confidence and zeal of the hardworking and honest ones in performing their duties of protecting lives and properties.”
Reiterating the region’s commitment in tackling the several challenges facing the region, Lalong said the forum will collaborate with Federal Government and security agencies to address the issues of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, and other criminal activities.
“We must tackle the current challenges of insecurity in the region which is dominated by insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, rape, child abuse and trafficking and other conflicts.
“We shall continue to work with the Federal Government and security agencies to tackle crime and criminality. That is why we have supported a comprehensive reform of police architecture in the country.”
CNN releases findings from its independent investigation on Lekki shooting; shares videos of what appears to be soldiers shooting directly at the crowd
CNN has released its findings from an independent investigation carried out on the October 20 shooting incident at the Lekki tollgate.
CNN shared footage of what appears to be soldiers shooting at the #EndSARS protesters who had gathered at the tollgate to press home their demands to end SARS as well as end police brutality.
CNN in its investigation spoke with a man, Elisha Sunday, whose brother, Victor, was killed during the October 20th shooting incident.
The media house also spoke with some of the protesters who were at the scene when the shooting occurred. They claim the soldiers indeed fired shots at them.
The media house also tracked the bullets shells seen at the Toll Gate and the companies that supplied the Nigerian Army Weapons since 2005
Recall Nigeria drew global attention when military men stormed the Lekki toll plaza where #EndSARS protesters gathered and fired gunshots.
Shortly after the incident, Governor Sanwo-Olu in a press conference stated that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. On October 26, the governor granted an interview to CNN where he stated that only two deaths were recorded from the incident. He added that he visited the scene the next day and couldn’t find bloodstains.
On the day of the incident, the Nigerian Army took to its Twitter handle to deny claims its personnel was at the scene of the incident.
On October 27, the Army broke its silence and alleged that the Lagos state governor invited them to help quell the violence that erupted after the protest was hijacked by hoodlums. Read here.
Watch the video from CNN’s independent investigation below