The Police Command in Enugu State, on Wednesday, paraded no fewer than 23 suspects in connection with the hijack and violence in EndSARS protest within the state recently.
The police also recovered: 13 machetes/cutlasses; a bag containing 36 different brands of mobile phones; an item bond with a padlock suspected to be a charms; a gun-like shape iron; and cash sum of N26,175.
Parading the suspects, state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmad Abdurrahman, said that the suspects were arrested in different location of Enugu metropolis for riotous acts, murder, arson, armed robbery, malicious damage, stealing, obstruction, breach of public peace etc.
According to Abdurrahman, the protest which was hitherto peaceful, took a different turn when hoodlums hijacked it on Oct. 21 and started causing havoc of unimaginable proportion by setting burn-fires, destroying public and private facilities within the metropolis.
“The two police officers killed by the hoodlums included: Inspector John Jesse attached to Emene Police Division, who was gruesomely murdered, set ablaze and burnt beyond recognition by the miscreants in the premises of the Police Division.
“And Police Constable Ogboji Emmanuel attached to Department of Operations, who was also gruesomely murdered and set ablaze on his way to work at “T-Junction”, Abakpa, Enugu.
“Police stations burnt down included: Emene Police Station with two operational Hilux and other vehicles, including exhibits, which was burnt down and Amechi-Idodo Police Station, which was burnt down
“Akwatta Police Post, under Central Police Station, burnt down; Maryland Police Post, under Uwani Police Division, burnt down; and Phase 6 Police Post under Trans-Ekulu Police Division, which was set ablaze and partially burnt.
“Other public and private buildings/offices either burnt or destroyed included: the newly-built Nigeria Immigration Service Office Complex at Emene, which was set ablaze and office equipment carted away.
“National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office building at Emene, which was set ablaze; Njodo Development Centre, Emene, which was burnt and Enugu North Local Government Council Secretariat’s security house, which was burnt down while some of its office buildings were destroyed.
“University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus security house, which was vandalized; and First, Access, UBA, Fidelity, Eco and other banks’ ATMs as well as shops, which were destroyed or vandalized,’’ he noted.
The commissioner said that in line with Inspector-General of Police directive to reclaim Public Space and restoring normalcy, “I have directed all Area Commanders, DPOs, Heads of Tactical and Operational Departments to comply with and enforce the directive to the letter’’.
“I wish to appreciate the peaceful residents of the state who have supported us and urge all and sundry and the Youth to remain law-abiding and support the Command further as we work towards returning Enugu City and the State in general to her peaceful status.
“There is no doubt that, as a people, we have gone through unquantifiable stress and trauma these past days.
“But I urge us all to remain calm, vigilant and prayerful, while ensuring we do not allow these disgruntled and criminal elements to further wreak havoc as we have experienced these last few days in our dear state under the guise of EndSARS Protest,’’ he said.
The state police boss, however, enjoined parents to caution and restrain their children from engaging in acts of violence and wanton destruction of lives and property, “as anyone caught will certainly face the full weight of the law’’.