The Ondo State Security Network Agency, also known as “Amotekun Corps”, has arrested 4,000 criminal suspects for various criminal activities.
The State Commander of the Corps, Chief Adetuni Adeleye, who disclosed this while briefing Journalists at the weekend in Akure, said the suspects were arrested between January and May 2022, describing it as part of its landmark achievements.
He said: “On the average, between January and may 2022, we’ve made about 4,000 arrest and through the office of the Director of Public Prosecution of Ondo State, we’ve been able to send a reasonable number to correctional centres and prosecution are going on while diligent investigation are going on many others.
“The criminal suspects were arrested for various crimes including kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, rape, theft, illegal possession of firearms, child trafficking, cultism, human relations violations among others”.
Adeleye, who said the crime rate in the state, going by statistics, dropped by more 70 percent, promised that the agency would not relent on its Operation Clean- Up efforts to eradicate crime in the state.
“Comparatively, the last five months of last year and the first five months of this year, we have a very sharp decrease in the number of suspects arrested. Last year, on maintenance of law and order in the line of violators of open grazing law alone, we arrested close to 4,000 but this year, we have not arrested up to 1,000.
“Also, comparatively too, virtually all forms of criminal activities are on the decline in the state. Unlike before when kidnapping was everyday issue, it is no longer as rampant as it was within the metropolis and even at the border towns, it is now becoming a thing of past.
“These are part of landmarks and achievements of the Ondo State Security Network Agency. You will recall that we started the year on a very good note, in the sense that December period are usually characterised by various criminal activities but last December was eventfully peaceful until we had first major carnage in Ose Local Government”, he stressed.
The Amotekun Commander explained that, the Corps continued what was supposed to be a Christmas patrol until March to ensure that in collaboration with other security agencies, Ondo State remain peaceful.
“Across the board, we recorded very low criminal activities in the state. That is not to say that there were not pockets of violence here and there. Very recently, in collaboration with the military, we launched a massive attack on Kidnappers in the four local governments in Akoko, Ose and Owo, and I must tell you that it actually yielded a good result”.
Adeleye noted that the successes were recorded courtesy of the collaboration with the Men and officers of Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Army (NA).
“On the clean-up operation, the military of Kogi partnered with the 32 Artillery Brigade in Akure and Men of Amotekun corps as well as the local hunters of all the villages around the boarder towns and to a very large extent, we were able to drive these criminals away. We observed that these criminals come to Ondo State, strike and move back to Kogi. The same thing also happen around Ose Local Government where they strike and move to Edo State through the river.
“These criminals always take advantage of the fact that there are no Amotekun in Kogi and Edo, but that has since seized now as the security agencies in these two neighboring states are collaborating with us .The last operation we did, a couple of days ago, we were able to engage these criminals”.
He added that Amotekun has activated 12 control points within and outside the metropolis, in such that within few minutes of information about any criminal activity, it will barricade the road to ensure that such criminals do not leave unarrested.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Adeleye said: “If the government of Ondo State has refrained from using Amotekun during his own election you can be sure of our neutral position on all political activities.
A criminal is a criminal and we are resolute and our zero tolerance for criminal activities remain. However, in view of the forthcoming political activities and general elections, we can only advice people to be law abiding, not minding the political parties they belong to because we will do the work the way it is supposed to be done”, he added.