Fracas in Oshodi: Police arrest 40, charge 18

Fracas in Oshodi: Police arrest 40, charge 18

Thursday, February 26, 2015 9:25 pm

*Want NURTW leader, Oluomo to surrender

Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Police Command says it has arrested 40 people in connection with Wednesday’s mayhem in Oshodi and has arraigned 18 of them.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti after an emergency State Security meeting convened to deliberate on the Oshodi mayhem where about three people were killed and properties destroyed at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Police Commissioner, Aderanti briefs the media in Lagos on Oshodi fracas

Police Commissioner, Aderanti briefs the media in Lagos on Oshodi fracas

Aderanti told newsmen that the Oshodi branch Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Musiliu Akinsanya, better known as Oluomo has been ordered to report himself to the police latest tomorrow or be declared wanted.

He said the mayhem has no political undertone, but noted that the main actors behind the mayhem had been arrested.

“The Oshodi fracas is not political. All the principal characters are in custody. Today, alone, we have arraigned 18 of them and they are in jail. And tomorrow (Friday), I am going to arraign about 17 of them. I am not talking about the foot soldiers. I am talking about the leaders of these people.

“These are the people that are causing mayhem. What we need to do is to get the arrowhead off. Once the arrowheads are off, the foot soldiers can be tackled easily. Now, we are going after the principals, people that are encouraging youths into violence. These are the people we want to dismantle their command and control structures. By the time we dismantle it, we can have people in that area,” he stated.

Aderanti said Oshodi is such a place that the police had to be very careful in addressing all the security challenges because it is a major hub “where we have people transiting through buses and trains. We cannot just be too hard on people. We do not know innocent people that are standing by. Oshodi is not an enclave we can actually tackle. It is not that within five minutes we cannot get things tackled. But it is just that we are looking at the collateral damages.

“We are looking at innocent lives and properties that will be lost if we are extremely harsh on those people. We are working on it. At least, we have closed in on about 40 of them. Tomorrow, I have given an ultimatum to the leader of one of the factions, Oluomo. If he refuses to surrender him to any of our security agencies, we are going to declare him wanted. And it is going to be between us and him. He will not have any hiding place in Lagos State.”

The commissioner said between two and three persons died and about eight vehicles burnt.

Musiliu Akinsanya: a.ka. Oluomo

Musiliu Akinsanya: a.ka. Oluomo

Aderanti said the meeting was held with the governor to appraise the situation in Oshodi and other areas, saying that in the past two weeks, the State had been having challenges within the NURTW’s hierarchy there.

According to him, the summary was that “we have all agreed that henceforth we are going to move forward and implement the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, 2012, which prohibited the collection of tolls and dues within and around motor parks and garages.
“Also, that same prohibits the sale of alcoholic drinks and critical drugs within 100 metres of these garages and parks. The implication is that whosoever among the union members that engage in these acts will have that union activities prohibited. The police will take over that area.”

“If also these activities such as sale of alcoholic drinks, collection of dues are related to this fracas, we are going to move in together with all our agencies to ensure that we secure lives and properties of Lagosians and that people are not molested. So, it was a meeting that was called to virtually address those issues aside from other germane areas like Mushin and others,” he said.

The commissioner assured Lagos residents of adequate security, saying they should not allow the happenings to distract them from going about their normal businesses.

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