Damilola Aina, Abuja
Daily Courier – The Ondo State Security Network Agency codenamed “Amotekun Corps” have confirmed the arrest of some suspects in connection with the June 5 massacre at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.
The state Commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, confirmed the development on Thursday while parading 71 suspected criminals who were arrested for various criminal activities across the state before newsmen.
He, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspected terrorists arrested but expressed assurance that all the attackers of the worship center would be apprehended.
The Amotekun boss said, “As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on.
“A number of people have been arrested concerning the Owo issue as well as well number of equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point that we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them We have told you that until we get to the root, I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book.”
On the 71 suspected criminals paraded at the headquarters of the command in Akure, the state capital, Adeleye explained that the suspects were arrested within the last one month for various offenses ranging from armed robbery, cattle rustling, kidnapping, raping, fraud and human trafficking.
“The 71 suspects were picked while committing offenses and others were tracked to their hideouts in the forests. We have been able to get a cartel that specialises in stealing and dismantling motorbikes which we all know as okada. Also, we were able to recover over 50 bikes during the operation from these criminals.
“We also got reports from some herdsmen that their cattle were stolen. We went after them and brought the cows back to the Fulani herdsmen that owned the cow. We have a group of small boys who are under 18-year old that turned themselves into a cartel of criminals in a particular local government in Ondo State and armed themselves. They actually belong to a cult group called ‘Agbado’. We were able to arrest 12 out of the 17 members.
“We have about three to four suspected kidnappers and we intend to take most of these suspects, especially the ones we have concluded their investigations to the DPP and for their onward prosecution in court.”
He assured the people of the state that the corps would not rest on its oars until it rids the state of criminal elements, saying, “there is no hiding place for them. They turned the heat on us and we have also turned the heat on them.”
Daily Courier recalls that no suspected terrorist invaded no fewer than 40 people were brutally murdered and many others injured during the attack.