By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun has said amidst COVID- 19 restrictions of interstate travels, the operatives of state police command have arrested no fewer than five notorious criminals with six AK-47 rifles recovered from them.
He said the arrested persons who included a man from Katsina, involved in the kidnapping of a special assistant (SA) in Nasarawa state, were apprehended at different locations in the state by operatives of the state police command.
The suspects according to the CP, were apprehended between April and May 2020 despite lockdown imposed as a result of COVID-19.
The CP made the disclosure while presiding over the meeting of the presidential Joint Technical Task Team (JTTT) on Emergency Response to COVID-19 on Challenges of Movement of Food and Agricultural Inputs in the Country at the Police Headquarters, Ilorin.
He said the command despite being cautious of the need to ensure seamless transportation of agriculture products, would not compromise the security of the state and nation as a whole.
His position was corroborated by the state commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), A Bello. The duo called on leaders of transport unions to further caution their members against sabotaging efforts of security agencies under the guise of conveying food items and Agricultural products.
Expressing concerns over violation of inters state travels ban by truck drivers smuggling passengers across state borders, CP Egbetokun said “between last month ( April) and now, we have arrested five notorious criminals with dangerous weapons.
“We have also recovered six Ak- 47 riffles from these notorious criminals who were relocating from other states where they have committed crimes and want to come and continue here.
. “We arrested someone involved in the kidnapped of one SA (Special Assistant) in Nasarawa and ran from Katsina to Kwara state to come and continue his criminal activities. We recovered AK-47 rifles from him.
“We also arrested another one along Kanbi- Oloru axis. We also recovered one AK-7 rifle from him.
“We arrested another person from Zamfara, we recovered two AK-47 from him.
“Along Ogbomoso – Ilorin road, we arrested notorious criminals who have been terrorizing people. Riffles were recovered. It was during this pandemic that they were all arrested, the CP said.
He said though security operatives were carrying out their duties with a human face to ensure “unhindered movement of food items and live stocks” to cushion the effects of the pandemic, the concession granted to truck drivers is however not a license to violate laws.
The police boss noted that security operatives in the state have also uncovered new pranks being played by truck drivers coveying food items and live stocks which he regretted was jeopardizing border security.
“Border security is our major challenge in this state, There is the need to educate our drivers.
“On approaching security agents at the border, they drop there passengers who will walk down and go and met them at the agreed point.
“We have just discovered that and anyone that is caught will be dealt with.” the CP warned.