Judex Okoro, Calabar
The search for hoodlums in Cross River State have started yielding positive results as the police has arrested over 80 suspects who vandalised various government and private properties in Calabar.
Those apprehended include some youths who looted private homes, offices, and office of a National Assembly member, carting away various empowerment items.
Items carted away include household equipment, electronics, pieces of furniture, tricycles as well as stage and sound equipment from Calabar International Conference Center (CICC).
Cross River Commissioner of Police, Abdulkadir Jimoh, told newsmen that they have recovered a lot of looted items and have apprehended culprits.
He urged traditional institutions, community leaders, faith groups, youths and community policing committees to expose the looters.
“We have arrested over 80 suspects and they are under going interrogation in various security facilities. Looters have 24 hours to return all looted items before the house to house search gets to them as recovery of looted items is on going.,” he said.
He further warned landlords, parents, community and religious leaders not to hide or cover up for any criminal in their environment adding that the house to house search was not business as usual.
“No criminal element will be spared, no one who vandalised government property or looted personal effects and invaded people private offices will go unpunished as they will face the full wrath of law.
“We are already working in synergy with other sister agencies in a bid to fish out the bad egg as well as recover looted items. I will advise all those who are in possession of such items in their own interest to bring them out at conspicuous locations or face justice.
“So far, we have recovered four new tricycles, water heaters, bath tubs, air conditioners, speakers and executive chairs, stage equipment at the CICC, sewing machines from garment factory, fumigating equipments, cartons of pesticides and so on,” he said.
Jimoh said the police would not rest until all perpetrators of arson and vandalism which took place in the last 72 hours were apprehended, adding that the house-to-house search has been very effective in the recovery.
Meanwhile, Governor Ben Ayade has promised N100,000 reward for information on looted property.