Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
A 77-year-old man, Osarumwese Osahon, was among 102 suspected criminals paraded by the Edo State Police Command, on Friday, for allegedly being involved in various crimes in the state.
The septuagenarian, however, told journalists that he was not a criminal but that he was arrested in connection with land issue but paraded alongside criminals.
Speaking to newsmen, Osahon said, “My late son sold my land at Ugbor to someone unknown to me. When my other son wanted to travel abroad, I sold the land to another person at the cost N2.5 million this year but when the person that bought it from me came to develop it, the first person, a lady who claimed she bought it from my son, stopped him from developing the land that she is the owner of the land.
“When the man came to meet me that I should refund his money I told him to give me time or I should give him another land in a different place but he refused.
“That was why I was arrested yesterday. I am not an armed robber, and I am not a cultists. I did not commit any other crime,” he said.
Parading the suspects, Commissioner of Police Babatunde Johnson Kokumo, said the suspects were arrested for alleged armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, burglary and murder.
According to the police boss, “The suspects were arrested within the state while others made incursion into the state from neighbouring states to commit crime and were arrested.
“Several of them were arrested within the state and of course several were arrested outside Edo State.
“Some of these criminals of course are residents criminals within Edo State and some of them actually made incursion into Edo State from neighbouring states, Kogi.
“Several of them have robbed innocent citizens and of course, their arms and ammunition recovered.
“Articles of values that were robbed from innocent citizens were equally recovered from them”, he said.
He disclosed that the command has launched a war against, armed robbery, kidnapping, cultists and cultism, saying that the war has yielded good result with the arrest of many cultists and other criminals.
“Many of these suspects were into cultism. You will agree with me that cultism has been a major issue that has constituted a great deal of social malady, disturbing law abiding citizens, and the issue of cultism has led to the death of several law abiding innocent citizens.
“The command has launched a war against cultists and cultism and this war of course was spare-headed by the command special anti cultism.
“The war has yielded positive result and today we have several of them in our net”, Kokumo said.
He assured that the suspects would be charged to court, calling on the people to always give information to the police in order to sustain the fight against criminals.