Ondo Amotekun Arrests 43 Kidnappers, Other Criminals in One Week

Laments sudden upsurge in kidnapping cases

Fidelis David in Akure

The Ondo State Security Network Agency codenamed Amotekun yesterday paraded 43 suspects arrested for various criminal offences across the state within one week.

This came a week after it paraded 149 suspected criminals with guns, charms, cutlasses, swords, catapults loaded in trucks, from different black spots across the state.

The state Commander of the Corps, Mr. Adetunji Adeleye, while parading the latest suspects at the Command’s headquarters in Akure disclosed that about half of the 43 suspects are suspected kidnappers.

Specifically, he traced the cause to the heavy presence of security personnel in Ekiti State following the recent kidnap of five pupils of the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure Ekiti, and four staff members, and the killing of two Ekiti monarchs by gunmen.

According to him, “Today, we have 43 suspected criminals picked from various areas of operations across the 18 local government area of Ondo State. The astonishing thing about our parade today is the sudden upsurge in the suspects that we have on kidnapping.

“About half of the 43 of the  suspects are kidnappers, and we have reasons to question them. We actually have over 50 suspects, but those that we have reason to question was because why they were where they were, and what we found on them. I want to trace this to the heavy presence of security personnel in Ekiti State, and I want to believe that they are being driven to Ondo State, but we want to tell you that Ondo State can never be a safe haven for criminals.

“We have risen up to the challenge and all of them that we have arrested in kidnap scenes, during kidnap, and during attempt to kidnap with credible victims around to identify some of them, are the ones we are parading today.”

Adeleye said other suspects were arrested for illegal possession of firearms, housebreaking among others.

“This week, we have a sharp decline in the number of housebreaking because we have commenced foot walk, especially on Sundays when people have gone to church and during working hours when people are at work. We now walk around the metropolis which I think is one of the reasons we have a decline in the number of shop breaking,” he added.

As against the backdrop of the sharp decline of herders’ destruction of farmland in the northern part of the state, the corps chief said the state recorded an increase in the number of herders-farmers’ clashes in areas facing security breaches.

“We still have issues with security challenges on our borders, especially the Kogi/Ondo border and Edo/Ondo border. We are working on it and collaborating with others. As at yesterday morning, a combined team of security men, specifically the army from Kogi and Ondo States, Police from Kogi and Ondo States, and Amotekun from Ondo State, joined hands together to fish out the perpetrators of the last kidnap in Akunu/Ayere axis in Kogi and Ondo States.

“The actual thing that you saw on social media happened in between those two communities, and we have been raising the alarm that in places that we don’t have the grassroots local security that we can work with, we have been having issues, but we are happy, however, that they joined and collaborated with us, and the search still continues,” Adeyeye said.