- 1,596 suspects arrested for looting, violence
- Navy arrests 41 for looting, vandalism in Lagos
- Curfew now 10pm to 6am
- ‘I was listed among those to be attacked – Obong of Calabar
The recent #ENDSARS protests claimed 73 lives nationwide including 22 police personnel, the police authorities said on Friday.
A total of 1,596 suspects have already been arrested across the states in connection with the violence and looting sparked by the protests, according to statistics compiled by the police.
Fourteen states including Lagos, Edo, Rivers and Imo were the most hit by the violence.
The nationwide search for #ENDSARS protest looters also led to the arrest of 41 suspects in Lagos on Friday by officers of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT.
The suspects are believed to be among the hoodlums who allegedly vandalised malls, private shops and houses around Surulere, Apapa and Ijora parts of Lagos.
Goods estimated at over N100 million were recovered from them.
The Plateau State Government has put losses incurred in the state during the protests at over N75 billion while the Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, said he was a target during the violence that rocked the Cross River State capital during the protest.
Speaking during a virtual conference with senior police officers, Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu said 51 civilians and 22 police personnel were killed.
Thirty-seven civilian and 26 police injuries were also recorded.
He said statistics collated between 11th October, 2020 when the protests assumed a national dimension and 27th October, 2020 showed that 14 states recorded major violence.
Critical national security infrastructure and other corporate and private properties as well as injuries or fatalities to civilians, the police and other security agents were recorded, he said.
He listed the states as Lagos, Edo, Delta, Oyo, Kano, Plateau, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Rivers, Abia, Imo, and Ekiti as well as the FCT.
He said: “In total, 71 public warehouses and 248 privately owned stores were looted in the course of the protests nationwide.
“A total of 51 civilian fatalities and 37 civilian injuries have been recorded while a total of 22 policemen were gruesomely murdered with 26 others injured by the protesters.
“Furthermore, 205 critical national security assets, corporate facilities and private property were attacked, burnt or vandalised.
“So far, a total of 10 firearms including eight AK 47 rifles carted away during the attack on police stations, and a locally made pistol have been recovered from elements operating under the guise of the ENDSARS protesters.
“In addition, 1,596 suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the violence and widespread looting by the protesters across the country.
“The breakdown shows that 520 suspects were arrested in Lagos; 367 in Plateau State; 210 in the FCT and 142 in Kwara State.
“Similarly, 82 suspects were apprehended in Osun State; 60 in Adamawa State and 36 in Kano and Ogun states respectively.
“Thirty-three suspects were arrested in Edo State; 20 each in Kaduna and Akwa Ibom states; 15 in Abia and Delta states and 13 in Oyo and Ekiti states respectively.
“Furthermore, 10 suspects were arrested in Rivers State and four in Ondo State. Out of these figures, not less than 1,117 have been charged to court across the country.”
He encouraged the officers and men not to be demoralised by recent events particularly as they relate to the targeted attacks on police personnel and facilities.
“You should rather draw inspiration from the motivating words of Mr. President who in a speech delivered during the launch of the Presidential Youths Empowerment Scheme (P-YES) at the State House on Monday 12th October, 2020 duly acknowledged that ‘the vast majority of men and women of the Nigeria Police Force are patriotic and committed to protecting the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians and we will continue to support them to do their jobs’,” he said.
Navy parades suspects, loot in Lagos
The Commander NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Ibrahim Shettima, who paraded the suspects arrested by his men, said the navy also recovered a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) looted from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) headquarters and a truck loaded with various looted items including electronics, kitchen and home appliances, bicycles, auto spare parts, fabrics, clothes and shoes, COVID-19 palliatives, among others.
Shettima who was represented by the base’s acting Executive Officer (XO), Commander Andrew Zidon said some of those arrested were minors and were released to their parents after screening.
It was gathered that two other SUVs were stolen from NPA while many others were burnt when the NPA building was set ablaze.
Eight NPA officials were rescued from the burning structure.
According to Shettima, the base conducted over 200 active patrols and responded to more than 50 distress calls from citizens and organisations from October 19.
He said: “Beginning from around October 19, Lagos State plunged into a civil unrest characterised by riots, looting and reported widespread criminal activities by hoodlums and miscreants. The Nigerian Navy responded to the crisis in an effective and timely manner to help ensure the return of normalcy within its Area of Operations.
“This operation was conducted under the Lagos State Security architecture code named OP MESA which designates, Apapa, Orile, Ijora, Costain, Surulere, Mile 12, Amukoko, etc as the area of responsibility for the Nigerian Navy.
“In the course of carrying out our task, the base conducted patrols and took all necessary measures within the ambits of the law as well as Internal Security Standard Operating Procedure for the Armed Forces of Nigeria to help restore peace and order.
“This necessitated working with sister services as well as other Law enforcement agencies including the Nigerian Police.
“The suspects here are those we have degree of certainty on their involvement in the crimes. They are the ones we hope to hand over to the police.
“Among the 41 suspects arrested, some were 11, 12 or 13-year-olds and so not people we felt we should keep in custody.
“We invited their parents and handed them over to them. Suspects were arrested from various locations. The truck was intercepted under the bridge at Orile and the driver arrested.
“He said the truck was going outside Lagos. Through the driver, we have gotten other suspects.
“There was no confrontation with them. We have done serialisation of every item recovered and some of the owners have already identified what belongs to them.
“Not everything here was taken from malls. Some of them were stolen from small shops and homes.”
An employee of STI Textiles, Seun Olubode, who said their shops at Suruelere and Lekki were looted, thanked the navy for helping them get some of the items.
“We are thankful to the navy for the little one we have seen. We have identified our laces among the items but it is just like a scratch compared to what was looted. We are still thankful for these ones we have seen and hoping we will get more,” she said.
Another victim, Abubakar Mohammed who said his spare part shop was looted twice with goods worth over N17million carted away, told reporters he was able to identify some of his items among the recovered loot.
Lagos relaxes curfew from 10pm to 6am
The Lagos State Government on Friday further relaxed the curfew in the state from 10pm to 6am.
The curfew was imposed in the wake of the violence that erupted during the #ENDSARS protests.
The curfew relaxation was announced in a statement signed by Information and Strategy Commissioner Gbenga Omotoso.
He quoted Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as praising Lagosians for observing the curfew which is expected to restore normalcy in the communities, and urging them to go “about their businesses in peace, even as they shun actions that can threaten our unity.”
The Governor advised purveyors of fake news to stop causing disaffection among Lagosians, who are well known for being peace-loving and friendly.
We lost N75b to looting, says Plateau govt
The Plateau State Government estimated losses incurred across the state during the recent looting at over N75 billion.
Governor Simon Lalong told youths at an interactive session in Jos on Friday that the level of destruction and carnage was unbelievable and unacceptable.
“A preliminary report by a team of experts I constituted has estimated the losses to be put at about N75 billion for now,” he said.
He said government was “still trying to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the total cost of the damage.”
The looting, according to him, has “clearly taken us many years backwards as we do not have the resources to replace the structures vandalised and the items damaged or stolen.”
He said government was yet to recover from the devastating economic consequences of COVID-19 which has greatly affected its capacity to provide services to the people.
He said the destruction had nothing to do with the initial #ENDSARS protests but simply a clear act of criminality and unpatriotic behaviour of the perpetrators.
No fewer than 32 public and private properties were affected in the looting spree, he said.
He said his administration has “done our best to ensure that our youths benefit from all social investment programmes of the Federal Government, including the extension of the skill acquisition component of N-Power to 11,364 youths in the state.
I was listed among those to be attacked – Obong of Calabar
The Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, on Friday condemned politicians for using the youths in the wrong way to become destructive against themselves and others.
Receiving former governor Liyel Imoke, who led a delegation to visit him following the rampage by some hoodlums that destroyed the property of government institutions and private investments, the Obong said he got information that he was listed among those to be attacked.
“Somebody like me that has not gained anything from the political class, if I may say so, my name was said to be in the list of the places to attack,” he said.
The Obong said he had been watching “and I am so unhappy that the peace and calm that we use to have here is taken away.”
“Why? Because the politicians have failed. That is why we sit down to watch you people. There is need to change. And if I had my way, I could have said this governor should wait. Let’s set up an interim administration then he starts learning and looking at how administration is actually done.”
He noted that the buck stops at the table of the governor as the Chief Security Officer of the state, stressing: “he should be holding security meeting regularly.” “This thing would not have happened if he had called the security people together after hearing what happened in Lagos and other places.
“Call them and tell them, ‘Look, my friends, nothing should happen in my state.’
”The key is that there has to be a change of attitude. Every one of you should have access to the governor, and he should listen.
“Please tell our Excellency (the governor), even though you say it is not time to put blame, whether you like it or not, the buck stops at his table and we have to have a solution to this problem.
“We have to face it right out there. We don’t need to play around with it. We cannot continue this way.
“You tell him that there is a need for total reconciliation; a total rehabilitation of whatever he has been doing.
“Everybody matters in this state. He should be able to talk to people. He wouldn’t call you. Even when you call him, he doesn’t answer the call. Nobody talks to him, but rather what are we doing? We are all running away.”
Speaking earlier, former Governor Liyel Imoke told the Obong of Calabar that in the wake of the incident, he thought it wise to seek the help and cooperation of the traditional institution in finding a way out of the problem.
“We do not understand the extent of the carnage. We are all victims of this incident. If you were not hit directly, you were hit indirectly.
“For me, I was hit directly. So also very many public officials, they were also hit directly.”