The looting that followed #EndSARS protests turned soar on Saturday with the death of at least five alleged looters in Jos, Benin and Enugu.
The looters’ targets remained warehouses and private buildings suspected to contain COVID-19 palliatives.
Cross River State appeared the hardest hit on Saturday.
There was apprehension that the situation in the state was fast approaching anarchy.
Apart from several government buildings that were looted, vandalized and burnt, the youths also invaded the homes of Senators Ndoma Egba and Gershom Bassey, stripping them of all valuables. Egba’s residence in Calabar was also torched by the hoodlums.
Looters also forced their way into the Ibadan property of Senator Teslim Folarin (Oyo Central) and made away with goods estimated at over N200 million.
Looters also struck in Kaduna State, forcing the state government to slam an all-day curfew on some communities in Kaduna South and Chikun local government areas.
Osun and Plateau state governments hurriedly re-imposed the 24-hour curfew they had lifted while security agents in the Federal Capital Territory and Anambra State had to fire gunshots to stop attempts to break into some warehouses.
But it was a calm day in Lagos. The easing of the curfew allowed residents to move about from 8am to 6pm and the streets were free of the armed gangs who had been in charge since Wednesday.
Two hundred and twenty-nine suspects who allegedly took advantage of the #EndSARS protest to destroy and loot public and private properties in different parts of the state are expected to be arraigned tomorrow.
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Saturday ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property in parts of the country.
He said the country had had enough of the lawlessness of the last few days.
Three of the looters were feared dead in Jos, one in Benin and one in Enugu.
Youths in Plateau State had, early Saturday, swooped on warehouses in Bukuru and Jos to loot palliative items allegedly stored there.
The deceased were apparently trampled to death or died of suffocation, according to eyewitnesses.
The authorities declined to confirm the deaths but government re-imposed a 24-hour curfew and denied hoarding any palliatives.
Governor Simone Lalong in a broadcast said the curfew was in response to the action of hoodlums who “ broke into the warehouses where palliatives delivered to the state by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development last week were stored awaiting distribution and carted them away.”
The looting, according to him, has “spread to other facilities and is gradually degenerating, thereby threatening the peace and security of the state.”
He added: “to avoid further escalation, I hereby direct the immediate reinstatement of the 24-hour curfew earlier relaxed from 4pm today 24th October 2020 in Jos South and Jos North Local Government Areas till further notice.
“By this, security agencies are directed to enforce the curfew and ensure that all violators are arrested and prosecuted.
“I call on all citizens and stakeholders to continue to cooperate with government in ensuring the peace and progress of Plateau State.
In a separate statement, Information and Communication Commissioner Dan Manjang said the palliatives which government allegedly hoarded were “delivered to the state by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management for distribution to beneficiaries in Plateau State.
“Unfortunately while the team from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management alongside the state representatives were waiting for the coast to clear to commence the distribution, the stores were breached and the items carted away.
“The Plateau State Government therefore wishes to state categorically that it did not hoard any palliatives meant for the citizens of the state at any time.
“All the palliatives purchased by the state and those donated by private individuals were distributed equitably by the State Palliative Committee headed by His Excellency Prof. Sonni Tyoden, Deputy Governor of Plateau State.”
Looter shot dead in Enugu
A suspected looter was confirmed dead as hoodlums attempted to break into a post primary school in Enugu said to be housing palliatives.
But it was not confirmed whether he was shot by security agents or as a result of accidental discharge.
The information which went viral on social media of palliatives stored at the Queen’s School inside WTC estate was found out to be false.
Inquiries showed that the palliatives had long been shared and moved to designated points.
Enugu youths Saturday morning mobilised and started cleaning and clearing the roads previously blocked by protesters.
The youths who were shocked by the hijack of the EndSARS protest leading to violence and destructions came out en masse to say enough is enough.
One dead as hoodlums loot more warehouses in Edo
A looter also died in Benin while attempting to escape from one of the warehouses raided yesterday in the city.
Raided were the Edo State Government-owned warehouse on Medical Stores Road, Uselu, Benin, a warehouse on Golf Course Road, GRA Benin, an uncompleted building on Sapele Road, also in Benin, and a privately-owned warehouse at Eribo Estate, Textile Mills Road, Benin.
The mob, which had earlier in the morning been prevented by military personnel from carrying out the act, succeeded in breaking the human shield mounted by the military and entered the store in their hundreds.
A man allegedly died while attempting to escape from the warehouse with his loot.
Lagos calm, 229 suspects for trial Monday
Lagos appeared on Saturday to be set for recovery from the tension that had enveloped the metropolis since Wednesday when looters overwhelmed the residents.
People were back on the roads after government eased the 24-hour curfew.
Security personnel also continued to clear the road of barricades erected by hoodlums.
They were joined by youths in some parts in the clean-up exercise.
There was noticeable presence of security men in many areas.
The Ministry of Justice announced that 229 suspects who allegedly took advantage of the #EndSARS protests to destroy and loot public and private properties in different parts of the state would be arraigned in court tomorrow.
The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi said in a statement that the State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi had gone round relevant police formations with a team of prosecutors to evaluate the files of those arrested with a view to determining those that have prima facie cases against them.
Oyekanmi said the suspects were arrested by the police for various criminal offences ranging from arson and murder to stealing, malicious damage of properties and assault before and after the state-wide curfew imposed by Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to restore law and order.
He said: “After the evaluation exercise, those that have cases to answer will be arraigned before the courts on Monday.”
While the release of those that have no case to answer will be ensured.
Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, (SAN) urged Lagosians to maintain peace, law and order in their respective communities.
He pledged the commitment of the State Government to uphold the rule of law at all times.
Anarchy looms in Cross River as hoodlums overwhelm security system
For the second day running, looters went on the rampage in Cross River State yesterday, moving from location to location and attacking private and public properties.
Targeted buildings were routinely raided and then set ablaze.
The residences of Senators Victor Ndoma-Egba and Gershom Bassey in Calabar were so raided yesterday and later set on fire.
At the last count, the following had been vandalized: State NLC office; INEC office; SEMA office ; CTRA office; Department of Petroleum Resources; Atakpa Police Station; NDDC state office; Valuemat Supermarket; Ministry of Works warehouse; Cross River State Roll Back Malaria Centre; Bulavaard Joint (Bar and Restaurants); First Bank branch 8 Miles; WAEC office; Fed Psychiatric Hospital; Access Bank; Senator Gershom Bassey’s late father’s house; Cold Stone Ice cream and IBENMOORE phone shop and accessories.
N200m worth of goods stolen from Sen. Folarin‘s house
Hundreds of hoodlums yesterday attacked the residence of Senator Teslim Folarin at Oluyole Extension, Ibadan, looting over 300 motorcycles, deep freezers, generators and other items worth about N200 million.
The hoodlums descended on the senator’s house at about 12:00 noon and feasted on the items.
Speaking on the incident on a live radio programme, Folarin, who is representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, explained that he was gathering the items for empowerment of his constituents later in December.
He added that some of his friends and supporters donated some of the items, adding that others contributed money for their purchase.
He described the incident as sad.
Folarin acknowledged that the EndSARS protest conveyed the grievances of young people in the country but posited that all stakeholders must work together to change the country for good.
He said: “The situation is really sad. Life is really frustrating in Nigeria, truly. We know people are angry but violence is not the way out. We need to begin to work together to prevent a reoccurrence of this. I just thank God that nobody died in the attack on my house.”
When asked if he saw the attack coming, Folarin said anybody could have suspected that it could get to this level, but that he never expected that his own house could be attacked.
Also yesterday, some hoodlums looted materials at the home of a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuff, in Osun State and set the Iwo Local Government Secretariat ablaze.
Kaduna imposes curfew as looters strike
The Kaduna State Government declared a 24-hour curfew in some communities in Kaduna South and Chikun Local Government areas following the looting of COVID-19 palliatives from warehouses in the local government areas.
The hoodlums raided warehouses at Barnawa, Kakuri, and Television in Kaduna South Local Government Area and Maraban Rido, Sabon Tasha, Narayi and Ungwan Romi of Chikun Local Government Area.
A few hours after the announcement, government decided to extend the curfew to all parts of the state.
Internal Security and Home Affairs Commissioner Samuel Aruwan said security agencies had been directed to arrest and prosecute anyone found violating the curfew and those responsible for breakdown of law and order.
“Security agencies have further been directed to effect the arrest and prosecution of anyone found looting and destroying properties,” he said.
“KDSG strongly condemns the concerted incitement being done on social media.
“The government appeals to all our communities to reject incitement and resist the attempt to create chaos and anarchy.”
Hoodlums defy curfew to attack palliatives warehouse in Anambra
Soldiers and policemen yesterday stopped hundreds of youths in Anambra State who attempted to raid a warehouse belonging to the state government in Awka.
The security personnel had to shoot into the air to scare away the looters. Governor Willie Obiano said the palliatives were meant for flood ravaged communities.
The State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C Don Adinuba, confirmed on the phone that the items were brought into the state four days ago and were meant for flood victims.
He said it was unfortunate that some people play politics with every situation, adding that they made a mistake by calling such items COVID -19 palliative.
Gunshots in Abuja as police prevent hoodlums from looting warehouse
Gunshots were similarly fired in Abuja to keep looters at bay when they tried to break into a warehouse at the UTC market, Area 10, Garki, Abuja.
A graphics designer, Segun Stickers, said the UTC market and the big shopping plaza in the area had been shut down.
“We are now locked inside the UTC Market. The police are firing gunshots and tear gas to stave off the attack by the hoodlums who were trying to loot the COVID-19 palliatives kept in a warehouse here,” he said on the phone.
“Many people were injured while trying to escape attack by the hoodlums and the whole area is in turmoil.”
The Federal Capital Territory police spokesperson, ASP Mariam Yusuf, confirmed that the police were deployed at the UTC Market and other public infrastructure to prevent suspected hoodlums from looting.
Security agents foil attempt to steal palliatives in Delta
Security agents on Thursday repelled suspected hoodlums who attempted a break into Event Centre along Okpanam Road in Asaba, Delta State capital, The Nation has learnt.
The hoodlums, who reportedly invaded the event centre, had suspected that COVID-19 palliatives were stored at the centre.
Armed security men were deployed in strategic areas of the capital city.
Fierce looking armed security men were also positioned at some public offices, including courts in Asaba.
Police arrest suspected looters, recover items in A’Ibom
The police in Akwa Ibom arrested 10 persons suspected to have participated in the vandalization, looting and burning of public and private properties during the EndSARS protest in Uyo on Thursday.
The police also recovered some items worth millions of naira which were allegedly stolen by the hoodlums from supermarkets, electronic and phone shops.
The State Commissioner of Police, Amiengheme Andrew, told reporters that the feat was achieved with the assistance of the state government and men of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Security (DSS).
Items recovered included 14 deep freezers, 6 refrigerators, 6 flat screen televisions, 4 water dispensers, 16 bags of rice, 4 air conditioners, a printer, chairs, and other items.
Oyetola re-imposes indefinite 24-hour curfew
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State yesterday announced another 24-hour curfew across the state after looters stormed Tuns Farm, the residence of a former deputy speaker House of Representatives, Hon Lasun Yusuf, private shops and stores in the state to cart away valuables and goods.
Oyetola in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ismail Omipidan, expressed disappointment at “the abuse of the suspension, a day ago, of the 24-hour curfew earlier declared in the state to forestall the breakdown of law and order and protect the lives and property of citizens and residents.”
He added: “After an emergency security meeting this afternoon, where the whole situation was reviewed and assessed, we came to the inevitable conclusion to declare a curfew. Consequently, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew across the whole state with immediate effect.
“My fellow citizens, the declaration of a 24-hour curfew, which will be indefinite until further notice, is to prevent the current state of anarchy from degenerating into the large-scale breakdown of law and order.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there shall be no vehicular (including Okada) or human movement during this period. Only those on essential duties will be permitted to move around. These persons too must carry with them proper identification to allow access.”
Hoodlums besiege Ogun communities in search of COVID-19 palliatives
Some hoodlums, mostly youths, on Saturday besieged Magboro Communities in Ogun State in search of warehouses that might be storing COVID-19 palliatives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the youths had trooped to Magboro communities on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway as early as 7 a.m., moving from house-to-house in search of COVID-19 palliatives.
One of the youths, who simply identified himself as Wasiu, said the group got a hint that the palliatives were stored in the area, hence they were there to take them away.
The youths, who had unrestrained access, forced their way into every house looking for COVID-19 palliatives that might have been stored in homes.
The terrified residents had hectic time convincing the hoodlums that there were no COVID-19 palliatives in their houses.
The youths also threatened to break down fences or gates of houses that denied them access to their compounds. The Chairman of Magboro Community Development Committee (CDC), Mr John Onoja, was manhandled by the hoodlums on the suspicion that he was using his phone to record them.
Culled from The Nation