By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Reporter, Lagos.
COMMISSIONER of Police Lagos State Police Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu yesterday openly extolled the virtues of his officers and men in the fight against crimes and criminality in the state and environs; saying the Command had lived up to expectations within the short period he assumed office. The workaholic senior Police officer who had held sway at various times as Chairman, Lagos State Special Taskforce and Commander RRS, said he could proudly beat his chest in self appraisal of the modest achievements so far achieved; maintaining that the tempo would be sustained. He gave the commendation during his maiden press briefing while parading suspected criminals and recovered arms and ammunition at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja Lagos. According to CP Odumosu, a total of 114 armed robbery suspects were arrested between November 14, 2019 when he took over the mantle of leadership of the Command and January 2020, while 72 armed robbery attempts were successfully foiled by eagle-eyed Police detectives. A visibly elated Odumosu said, “Gentlemen of the press, let me thank you for honouring our invitation this morning as well as use this medium to thank the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu Abubakar, for given me the opportunity to pilot the affairs of the Lagos State Police Command. I assumed duty as the 36th Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command on 14/11/2019. The last 55 days were quite eventful and tasking for us. The first major challenge I met was traffic gridlocks in different parts of the state which has a strong link with traffic related crimes such as traffic robbery. As a strong believer of problem solving approach, teamwork and stakeholders’ engagement and participation, I summoned an emergency meeting of all Area Commanders, Area Operation Officers, State Traffic Officers, Divisional Traffic Officers and Traffic Officers in the Command. We collectively identified the major causes of traffic congestions in the affected areas and agreed on workable solutions. Because of the urgency the situation presented, I declared a state of emergency on traffic and followed it up with the deployment of additional 1000 Police Officers for traffic duties. We equally reviewed their reporting and closing time to 10am and 10pm against the initial 6am and 6pm so as to meet up with traffic peak periods. I had a meeting with other stakeholders in security and traffic management where we agreed on multi agencies collaborations. The Command, with the support of Lagos State Government deployed 200 Motorcycles to various parts of the state for traffic control and to also combat the menace of traffic robbery. We took a step forward by reintroducing the Mobile Court system to prosecute traffic laws violators. This was done with the support of Lagos State Judiciary and Ministry of Justice Lagos State. Our mantra remains “Traffic must flow in Lagos State”. The Operations successfully prosecuted 75 traffic violators and impounded 75 vehicles. Among the offenders, 28 were arrested for driving against traffic (one way) while the rest were arrested for indiscriminate parking and causing obstructions by clubbers and customers of some factories. From the feedbacks received from citizens and eminent personalities in the State, it is gratifying to state that, the traffic situation is improving on daily basis. That also informed the free flow of traffic and zero traffic robbery incident experienced during the yuletide period. In order to consolidate on the gains recorded so far, additional one thousand personnel are being injected into the operation.”
Cross section of paraded suspects…
Continuing, CP Odumosu said, I can comfortably beat my chest and say that with this measure put in place, crimes in the state have reduced tremendously and this ins verifiable. From November 2019 to date, the Command arrested 114 armed robbery suspects and successfully foiled 72 armed robbery attempts. 7 armed robbery suspects died during exchange of fire with the Police. 46 suspects were arrested for cultism. 3 suspects were arrested for kidnapping and 82 suspects were arrested for murder. The state recorded 9 cases of suicide. 25 assorted firearms with lots of ammunition of different caliber were recovered. The Command also recovered 11 stolen vehicles. 2,300 Motorcycles were impounded during enforcement of Lagos State Traffic Laws: A total of two thousand, three hundred (2,300) motorcycles were impounded, from recalcitrant commercial motorcyclists across the State, between 18th November and 31th December, 2019. All the motorcycles impounded were handed over to Taskforce in Oshodi, for further action. Meanwhile, the exercise is being intensified. 447 suspects were arrested during raids of criminal hideouts: Acting on credible intelligence, the Command raided some criminal hideouts, uncompleted and abandoned buildings in different parts of the State. A total of four hundred and forty-seven (447) suspects were arrested over the last one month and taken to Taskforce, Oshodi for further action. Out of this number, fifty-three (53) were warned and released while three hundred and ninety-four (394) were charged to court. Out of those charged to court, two hundred and ninety-six (296) were convicted, while ninety-eight are still awaiting trial. 383 suspects were arrested in a clampdown on social miscreants: The Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants which I established; took the battle to the doorsteps of social miscreants at Ikorodu, Agege, Itire, Isheri-Oshun and Oshodi. One hundred and ninety-two suspects were arrested. Out of this number, thirty-eight were warned and released while eighty-seven were charged to court. Sixty-seven are currently being profiled. Two locally made pistols with thirty unexpended cartridges, weeds suspected to be Indian hemp and some cutlasses/axes were recovered from the hoodlums.”
Sounding a note of warning to criminals and would be criminals who intend to operate in Lagos State to write their wills and approach an attorney for the execution of the wills on their behalf because they would not leave to tell their stories, a battle-ready Odumosu who gave a blow by blow account on how an NYSC member who was kidnapped was rescued unhurt said, “Let me also use this opportunity to warn criminals especially, kidnappers that Lagos State is no longer a bed of roses for kidnappers. Kidnappers who intend to come and operate here in Lagos, should first write their wills and informed their attorney to execute it on their before because they will not leave to tell their stories because Lagos is no longer safe for them to operate. On 29/11/2019 at about 1015 hours, one Olagunju Lateef, male, of A B & C Farms, Ilamija-Nla, Epe, a member of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), reported to the Police that at about 0830 hours of date, while on his way to Epe Local Government Secretariat with one Onyinwara Faith Chinwe, female for the weekly Community Development Service, they were accosted by six armed men, who forcefully abducted the said Onyinwara Faith Chinwe, through the nearby bush to unknown destination. Based on the report, the Command commenced a vigorous manhunt and tracking of the hoodlums. On 03/12/2019 at about 0230 hours, the victim was rescued unhurt after a gun duel with the hoodlums. One of the hoodlums named Moses Ofeye, male, 31 years old was arrested with gunshot injury; the suspect was rushed to Epe General Hospital for treatment where he later died while undergoing treatment. Also, the rescued victim was debriefed and taken to hospital for medical attention. Subsequently, she was handed over to the State Director (NYSC), Mr. Sunday Abori, male at about 1300 hours. Investigation is ongoing.”
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