Operatives of the Oyo State Police Command have arrested 78 members of the Park Management System (PMS) who were reportedly planning to unleash wide-scale civil disturbance in the state.
The command’s spokesperson, Adewale Osifeso, confirmed the arrests in a statement on Tuesday in Ibadan.
According to him, the suspects were arrested when police operatives raided Diamond Hotel, Alakia, Ibadan, which belongs to the immediate past chairman of PMS in the state, Mukaila Lamidi, popularly called Auxiliary.
The police said they recovered some guns, ammunition and charms during the raid.
Auxiliary was alleged to have fled when he saw the heavy police deployment in his hotel.
Osifeso said the command on intelligence-driven surveillance foiled what he described as a “coordinated attempt at destabilising the state through wide-scale civil disturbance by members of the PMS, following the dissolution of the body by Governor Seyi Makinde.
“Sequel to the above, on Tuesday 30/05/2023 in a strategic intelligence coordinated raid around his location at Diamond Hotel, Alakia-Isebo, under Egbeda LGA, 78 suspected hoodlums who had perfected plans to unleash mayhem at the early hours of today at major parts of the metropolis were arrested in possession of sophisticated firearms, 724 cartridges, assorted charms, 33 mobile phones, and a cash sum of about N3,450,000.
“In addition, during the raid, sophisticated firearms were recovered inside the hotel rooms and in the trunk compartment of parked vehicles within the hotel,” the statement said
The PPRO further explained that though the former PMS chieftain was able to escape, one of his boys was killed during a gun duel with the police.
Osifeso said the group was allegedly responsible for the attack on 14 members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) along the Agodi axis en route to the venue of Makinde’s inauguration for a second term in office.
The PPRO, however, noted that in line with Standard Operational Procedure, all recovered items were properly documented, packaged and recorded for onward forensics analysis and for evidence purposes in accordance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and all other relevant laws.
He quoted the state police commissioner, Adebowale Williams to have reiterated its unwavering commitment towards tackling criminal rascality, hooliganism and blatant disregard for the rule of law.
Following the development, the PPRO said the commissioner appealed to residents to co-operate with the police with the provision of useful information to help apprehend the sacked PMS chieftain.
“Moving forward, residents shall witness high octane patrols, coordinated stop and search along designated points across the nooks and crannies of the state,” he said.
The command’s spokesperson further stated that the CP had directed Area Commanders to personally lead “patrols and rings of supervision of police operatives within their respective areas of jurisdiction.
“Thus far, the location and environs are actively monitored with ample deployment of police operatives to boost the confidence of residents against any fear of molestation or harassment as they go about their legitimate businesses.
“In cases of emergencies, the Command can always be reached through these emergency control room numbers: 615(Tell free) (Oyo State Security Trust Fund), and Oyo State Police Command Emergency lines 07055495413 and 08081768614,” he added.
He listed exhibits recovered are: One AK-47 rifle, four AK-47 magazines, 84 live AK-47 ammunition, 19 pump action riffles, one Beretta pistol, seven cut-to-size guns, one English-made single barrel gun and 724 live cartridges.
Others are 25 cutlasses, seven jack knives, 35 mobile phones, one Samsung laptop, charms, one Mazda bus, one Toyota Sienna, cash sum of N3,450,000. 00.
The police command said the suspects comprise 49 males and 29 females.