…suspects accuse police of partiality
A Special Intervention Force deployed by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, has arrested 20 persons suspected to be involved in the March 8 crisis in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Though 38 suspects were arrested in connection with the mayhem, 18 were set free owing to lack of evidence against them. Presenting the suspects before journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), said the crisis claimed 46 lives while 96 people sustained varying degrees of injury. A mild drama, however, played out during question and answer session, as allegations of “lopsided arrests” were raised.
This followed the discovery that almost all those presented were from a certain part of the country. One of the suspects, who spoke in Yoruba language, denied involvement while others were shaking their heads. While vowing to prosecute those allegedly found culpable in the bloody clash, the FPPRO said investigation was ongoing. Five units of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), among other Special Forces, deployed to investigate and arrest suspects, were led by a Commissioner of Police in charge of the PMF, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
He said: “The operations covered the entire Ile-Ife and environs, and other flash/troubled spots in Osun State, and was successfully executed leading to the arrest, detention and investigation of 38 suspects out of which 20 suspects were found culpable for direct and indirect participation in the killing of innocent people, maiming and destruction of properties of the victims worth millions of naira.
They will be prosecuted on completion of investigation, while the remaining 18 suspects have been released unconditionally for lack of prima facie evidence against them yet.” The FPRO said that on March 8, crisis erupted which “led to the gruesome killings of 46 people”. “A total of 96 other persons were taken to Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) out of which 81 of them were treated and discharged, while 15 of the victims are still on admission receiving treatment,” he added.
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