Sunday, April 28, 2019 3:15 pm
The Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Task force has arrested 26 persons suspected to be cultists in different parts of the state.
The Chairman of the agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, confirmed the arrest in a statement issued on Sunday by the Head, Public Affairs Unit of the Task Force, Mr Adebayo Taofiq.
Egbeyemi said that that the suspects were arrested at their usual base in Agege.
No fewer than 100 “Awawa boys’’ had been arrested and charged to court for breach of public peace, possession of arms and unlawful society group in 2017 and 2018, the statement added.
The taskforce chairman said that the suspects were arrested during an over-night enforcement operations tagged ‘Operation Restore Sanity to Lagos.
Egbeyemi said that the taskforce carried out the operation around ‘Isale-oja’, ‘Funmilayo’, ‘Ile-pako at Amoo’, ‘Orile by cannal’, ‘Papa-Ashafa’, ‘Dopemu’ and ‘Old Oko-oba’ in Agege.
“Criminal activities perpetuated by these various cult groups, particularly the dreaded ‘Awawa’ cult gang had become a serious threat to lives of residents and innocent members of the public around the areas.
“It was an eye-sore seeing these miscreants and cultists robbing, raping and freely smoking Indian hemp with under age boys and girls during day time and at night,’’ he said.
Egbeyemi added that another 64 miscreants and hoodlums, including three female teenagers were arrested during over-night raid around Oshodi.
According to him, dangerous weapons and substance suspected to be Indian hemp were recovered from the 64 miscreants.
“These miscreants and hoodlums were those attacking/breaking motorists’ windscreen and disturbing innocent members of the public by dispossessing them of their valuables such as cell phones, wallets and jewelleries around Oshodi.
“It is disheartening that most parents have abdicated their responsibility toward their children as the youth are now found to be deeply involved in gangsterism.
“Honestly, most of the crimes committed across the state are perpetrated by the youth who lack parental care,” he said.
The chairman, who said that “Operation Restore Sanity to Lagos’’ would be a continuous exercise, added that it would be extended to other areas known to be inhabited by undesirable elements across the state.
According to him, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, CP Zubairu Muazu, has directed that all those arrested be charged to court for prosecution.
Egbeyemi said the agency also dislodged more than 1500 illegal traders and impounded 96 motorcycles for plying restricted routes around Igando, a suburb of Lagos.
He said that the traders were dislodged to pave way for free-flow of traffic as there were serious complaints by residents and motorists about the newly constructed roads being taken over by activities of illegal traders.
“Strategically, this unusual and very risky trading practice has led to the death of some traders especially those who were not quick enough to escape from reckless drivers,” he said.
The chairman maintained that the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Laws prohibit hawking, buying or selling goods on railway tracks, road-setbacks, walk-ways and drainage alignment across the state.