By Chioma Okezie-Okeh
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has threatened to hunt down and arrest parents of suspected cultists in the state and not be spared are the landlords of houses where they reside or operate from.
He made this threat during the local study tour by participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 43, 2021, of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, to Lagos State. The delegation, led by the librarian, Dr. Emmanuel Mammam, were in the state to get first-hand and in-depth knowledge of the strategies being adopted by the police to secure the citizens, business entities, private and government facilities and other critical infrastructures of national interest in the State.
According to Mammam, the outcome is expected to form part of their research work that will be compiled and forwarded to the Presidency for policy formulation as a routine of the institute.
During his presentation, Odumosu reiterated that the hydra-headed menace of cultism in the state has nosedived with the full implementation of the provisions of the newly enacted law on cultism and allied matters by the state government: “The law did not only prescribe severe punishment for the culprits, it also outlined sanctions for the parents of the suspects, landlords and any other person that harbours them or allows the use of his or her facilities by the cultists.
From January 1, 2021, till date, the command has been able to bring down to the barest all indices of other serious crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping, civil unrest, violent protests and attacks on government facilities by aggrieved groups. Similarly, pockets of such crimes reported were diligently investigated with the suspects arrested and prosecuted accordingly. Also, incident of robbery in traffic being perpetrated by miscreants has been given maximum attention, which thus makes it nose-diving.
Likewise, atrocities being committed by hoodlums with the use of motorcycles are being frontally confronted.
Apart from full enforcement of the Lagos State Traffic Law banning the use of commercial motorcycles (Okada) in selected areas, the command has intensified raids on all their hideouts in order to keep the heat on them. Convoy patrol with motorbikes emplaced to monitor hoodlums attacking motorists during traffic snarl, particularly during peak periods has greatly curtailed the menace.”
He also said that the command had uncovered 13 threats of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) to attack soft targets in Lagos but strategies are being put in place to neutralize their activities. “There were stories on social media that they wanted to attack a place at Alaba International, I deployed more than 50 policemen in uniform and several others in mufti going round.
“The command is also aware of the current precarious security situation across the country and this has necessitated continuous review of security strategies employed in policing the state. The South Western States, including Lagos, are having a fair share of these security breaches, with the continuous agitation for Oodua Republic by some Yoruba separatist groups. A total of 24 of such groups that are allegedly clandestinely planning subversive activities to cause mayhem in the South West, especially Lagos, are closely being monitored and proactive measures being taken to forestall this,” he said.
Listing a summary of his achievements in 2021, Odumosu stated that, for the past five months, out of the 127 robbery incidents carried out by hoodlums, 118 were foiled while nine were successful, with 176 suspects arrested in connection with the crimes: “117 among the armed robbery suspects arrested have been charged to court while others are still under investigation. In the same vein, 10 cases of cultism and arrest of 221 cultists were recorded during this period.184 of the cultists have been arraigned before the court while investigation into the cases involving others is ongoing.”
“I also wish to inform the participants that about 10 vehicles were stolen by hoodlums in the state, while 36 were recovered, including those stolen from other states but brought to Lagos for disposal. A total number of 137 murder cases were recorded, with the arrest of 167 suspects; 102 of the murder suspects were charged to court while investigation is ongoing on other cases.
“Eighty-five different arms and 126 assorted ammunition, with 69 other dangerous weapons and cudgels, were recovered during the period; 1,577 social miscreants arrested and charged to court were convicted accordingly, with punishments ranging from fine, communal service to imprisonment awarded to them,” he said.
On children and gender related matters, 66 cases of rape/defilement cases were recorded with 77 suspects arrested. Out of the suspects arrested, 48 have had their days in court while others are still under investigation. Remarkable successes were recorded in other incidents such as kidnapping, violation and disregard for Lagos State Traffic Laws.”