The Ondo State Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun Corps, has said it has arrested not less than 4,000 suspected criminals across the 18 local government areas of the state in five months.
According to the agency, the suspected criminals included those alleged for kidnapping, armed robbery, human trafficking, illegal possession of firearms, among others.
This was revealed by the state commander of the corps, Akogun Adetunji Adeyeye, in a chat with journalists in Akure, the state capital.
Adeleye, a Special Adviser to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Security Matters, said the corps was committed to making the state crime-free and would not relent on its Operation Clean-Up efforts to eradicate crime in the state. He noted that the crime rate in the state, going by statistics, had dropped by more 70 than per cent.
He said: “On the average, between January and May 2022, we have made about 4,000 arrests and through the office of the Director of Public Prosecution of Ondo State, we’ve been able to send a reasonable number of them to correctional centres, and prosecutions are going on while diligent investigations are ongoing 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.
“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, virtually all forms of criminal activities are on the decline in the state. Unlike before when kidnapping was an 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 the 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 is usually characterised by various criminal activities but last December was eventfully peaceful until we had first major carnage in the Ose local government area.”
The Amotekun commander commended operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army for their collaboration in making the arrests.
“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 border 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 happens 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 been stopped now as the security agencies in these two neighbouring states are collaborating with us. The last operation we did, a couple of days ago, we were able to engage these criminals”, Adeleye said.