The Lagos Police Command on Tuesday began counting its loses to the violence, arson, vandalism and looting that followed the EndSARS protests in different parts of the state.
While briefing journalists in Ikeja, Lagos, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, said that 520 suspects had been arrested for various offences ranging from arson, robbery, murder to unlawful possession of firearms during the #EndSARS protests.
Odumosu told newsmen at the Command’s Headquarters, Ikeja, that the suspects were arrested in relation to crimes committed as a result of breakdown of law and order resulting from the #EndSARS protests.
“The protests which started peacefully turned violent on Monday, Oct.12, when some criminally-minded hoodlums at the Surulere protest venue cashed-in on the precarious situation.
“They proceeded to attack the Anti-kidnapping Unit’s Office of the Command located at Iyun Road, Western Avenue, Surulere, with premeditated intention to liberate suspected kidnappers detained inside the facility.
“In the process, three of the policemen on duty were shot and critically injured while two suspects were set free,’’. the Commissioner said.
Odumosu said that Insp. Erinfolamin Ayodeji and one male civilian passer-by, Mr Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo, were hit by stray bullets and they later died in the hospital.
“It was then that it became crystal clear that the #EndSARS peaceful protest had been hijacked by hoodlums,” he said.
The commissioner said that 16 police stations were set ablaze, 13 others vandalised, 58 police vehicles burnt, and several private and public facilities vandalised.
Odumosu said that six police personnel were gruesomely murdered while four civilians lost their lives during the crisis.
“Based on these incidences, the command was able to arrest 520 suspects for various crimes committed.
“One Olamilekan Ibrahim, male ,19, was one of those who broke into a new generation bank and carted away cash and other valuables. His share is N250,000 from the loot.
“Also, two male suspects: Ebere Ruben, 29, and Samuel Oyediran, 16, were arrested for their involvements in burning the BRT terminal at Berger and TVC Station in Lagos State,” he said.
Odumosu said that contrary to rumour, policemen were seen at their posts as directed by the Inspector General of Police to protect lives as well as public and private properties.
“We have restrategised and our men come out as early as 5a.m. to their various posts to ensure that there is no further breakdown of law and order.
“I will like to commend the community leaders and stakeholders for their support with useful information which has helped in the recovery of looted arms, ammunition and other valuables,” he said.
Odumosu said that the command had put measures in place to legally deal with the criminals who might want to foment troubles or deprive law abiding citizens of their properties.