Metro & Crime

#EndSARS: Hoodlums vandalised Ekiti police station

Protesters arrest phone thief in Lagos

Police yesterday accused End SARS protesters of attacking a police station in Ekiti State on Saturday. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Babatunde Mobayo, who made the allegations, said the rights of the people should not be trampled upon during any peaceful mass action.

Mobayo said the attack on the police station at Ikere-Ekiti was not only condemnable, but barbaric. The police chief also said that whether the attack was carried out by End SARS protesters, hijackers or hoodlums, violent protest won’t be tolerated in Ekiti State, because it infringed on the rights of the citizens. Some protesters, branded as “hoodlums” by the police, had on Saturday attacked the Ikere Divisional Police Station.

They damaged the building and four vehicles parked on the premises of the station. Describing the action as an onslaught on the police, Mobayo said in a statement issued by the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Sunday Abutu, that no property belonging to an individual, corporate body or government should be attacked during any protest perceived to be peaceful, legal and massesoriented.

He said: “On Saturday, 17th October, 2020, a group of hoodlums, in their large numbers, in the name of protest, went wild and attacked Ikere Area Command as well as Ikere Divisional Police Headquarters, destroying items worth millions of naira in the process. “Part of the items destroyed were: the Area Command and the Divisional Headquarters’ Fences/Gates, Divisional Headquarters’ signposts, about 40 window glasses, four vehicles, the roof of a building close to the station, among others.

“The Ekiti state Commissioner of Police, however, condemns such attack on police properties and innocent citizens, noting that the attack could be described as barbaric, wicked and uncalled for.” But in Lagos, the End SARS protesters along the Lekki Toll Gate arrested a fellow protester, Yusuf Lawal, for allegedly stealing a phone. The state PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi, said Lawal came all the way from Ojuelegba area of Lagos State on October 17, to join the protest at the Lekki Toll Gate and then stole a phone. The protesters, who were angry about the incident, gave the suspect the beating of his life and then handed him over to the police at Maroko Police Station. Adejobi said: “The stolen phone has not yet been recovered. The suspect passed it to his fleeing gang members.

The police are working on the information gathered from him to track down his gang members who are still at large.” The PPRO said that the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had reiterated that the incident was a clear indication that the protests, across the state, had been hijacked by some hoodlums who hid under the #EndSARS protests to steal, loot and cause damage to peoples’ property.

Odumosu, therefore, advised protesters to be watchful of those who had infiltrated into their processions or gatherings to inflict pains on Lagosians. Adejobi also explained that attacks on passers-by and residents of Ogolonto area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, on Saturday, were caused by violent protesters who threw caution to the wind and became violent.

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