A suspect, 26-year-old Taoreed Hamzat, who was among other suspected hoodlums who allegedly vandalised and razed Iseyin police station in Oyo State, has denied his involvement in razing the station, saying he was only interested in stealing crates of beer, generating set and a wall clock.
Parading nine suspects on Wednesday at the police headquarters at Eleyele, Ibadan, the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State Police Command, Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu said that they were arrested for allegedly attacking the Divisional Police Headquarters in Iseyin, on Thursday, October 22, 2020, before setting it ablaze, pretending to be EndSARS protesters.
Other suspects included Tajudeen Ibrahim a.k.a. Aji (40), Moshood Fatai a.k.a. Elewure (39), Musibau Abubakar a.k.a. Stainless (21), Sikiru Aliu a.k.a 2414 (25), Fasasi Fatai a.k.a Lemon (24), Isiaka Olaniyi (32), Raheem Toheeb (28) and Adeleke Akeem (42).
Enwonwu said that the suspects also looted the station.
Exhibits recovered from them included a generating set, a wall clock belonging to the Division and three motorcycles.
The police commissioner recalled his pleas to the youths engaged in EndSARS protests to avoid its hijack by hoodlums, coupled with the President Muhammadu Buhari’ s appeal that the protests be stopped to prevent needless deaths, which he said fell on deaf ears.
“Consequently, six police officers were murdered, five Divisional Police Headquarters and police patrol vehicles were burnt and exhibits looted in the exhibit rooms.
“Several police arms and ammunition were carted away due to the activities of criminal elements who capitalised on the protests to perpetrate their heinous crimes,” the police boss stated.
The suspect, Hamzat, told journalists during the parade that he was only interested in the crates of beer he saw at the station.
According to him, “when people besieged the police station, I took two crates of beer and a wall clock, and also snatched a generating set from someone who had initially taken it from the police station.
“But when community leaders ordered that those who took items from the police station should return them, I took the generator and the wall clock to a mosque.
“I was later arrested at home. I didn’t participate in attacking or burning the station.”
CP Enwonwu said that the command would continue with the arrests of all other hoodlums who carried out looting and coordinated attacks on police stations and personnel.
He expressed gratitude to the people of the state who he said had continued to give credible information to make policing easier.