From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Oyo State Police Command has confirmed the death of one person, recovery of 29 different types of guns, arrest of 78 persons, among other things on Monday night, when its personnel raided the residence of the former Chairman, Disciplinary Committee, Park Management System (PMS) in Oyo State Alhaji Mukaila Lamidid, fomdly called Auxiliary.
The police authorities in the state said the raid was carried out with a view to preventing mayhem, that Auxiliary and his supporters allegedly planned to unleash on different parts of Ibadan, the state capital on Tuesday.
But Lamidi escaped arrest during the raid. According to the police, the arrested suspects comprised 49 males and 39 females.
Governor Seyi Makinde had dissolved the PMS in the state few hours after he took an oath for a second term in office on Monday, via a statement issued by his Chief of Staff, Hon Segun Ogunwuyi. However, the reason for the dissolution of the PMS was not given by the government. The PMS was set up about three years ago by the government after the government had suspended the operations of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
Investigation revealed that Lamidi fell out with the governor over his refusal to work together with other transport unions, including NURTW, in the state to engender inclusivity in the management of parks in the state. He was said to have angered the governor when he allegedly attempted to give the governor a house arrest on Monday evening at Ikolaba in Ibadan.
Lamidi’s supporters were also accused of beating, with dangerous weapons, members of other transport unions that tropped to Ikolaba, Ibadan residence of the governor to rejoice with him over his second term inauguration. The development, as gathered, led to the dissolution of the PMS on Monday. The government has, however, fixed a peace meeting for all transport unions in the state on Thursday June 1, 2023, to ensure tranquility in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state. Adebowale Williams, paraded the 78 suspects arrested during the raid for unlawful possession of firearms.
Addressing journalists at Eleyele, Ibadan, on Tuesday, the police boss in the state said the command in its proactive nature, while acting on intelligence-driven surveillance, foiled an attempt at “creating widespread carnage and civil disturbance in the state by some members of the Park Management System (PMS), led by one Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, AKA Auxillary, sequel to the immediate dissolution of the Disciplinary Committee of the Park Management System of the state.
“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 Local Government Areab, 78 suspected hoodlums, who had perfected plans to unleash mayhem at the early hours of today (Tuesday) 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. Worthy of note is that, though the PMS chieftain was able to escape with some of his boys, during the gun duel with the police, however a member of the group was neutralised in a gun duel with the Police.
“Recall that the same group was alleged to be responsible for the attack on 14 members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) along Agodi axis under Ibadan North-East Local Government Area, enroute the venue of yesterday’s (Monday) inaugural celebrations.
“Furthermore, 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.
“In furtherance of the above, Oyo State Police Command under the constructive leadership of CP Adebowale Williams, reiterates its unwavering commitments towards tackling criminal rascality, hooliganism and blatant disregard for the rule of law.”
“Consequent on the above, the Oyo State Police Command enjoins residents to cooperate 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 designate points across the nook and cranny of the State.
The CP has also directed Area Commanders to personally lead convoy patrols and rings of supervision of police operatives within their respective areas of jurisdiction, saying: “Thus far, the location and environs is 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.
Exhibits recovered from the suspects are one AK-47 Riffle, four AK-47 magazines, 84 live AK-47 ammunitions, 19 pump action riffles, one Barreta Pistol, seven cut-to-size gun, one English made barrel gun, 724 live cartridges, 25 cutlasses, seven Jack knives, 33 mobile phones, one Samsung laptop, charms, one Mazda bus, one Toyota Sienna, cash sum of N3,450,000.