The Nigeria Police Force has paraded 20 suspects over the Ile-Ife violence just as it confirmed 46 people killed, 96 injured and property worth millions of naira destroyed in the mayhem.
Force Headquarters spokesman Chief Superintendent Jimoh Moshood said during a briefing in Abuja that 81 of those injured were treated and discharged, while 15 others were still on admission.
He said 38 people were arrested following investigation into the March 8 violence in Sabo Ile-Ife, a Hausa settlement in Osun state.
He said out of this number 20 suspects were found culpable for direct and indirect participation in the killings, maiming and destruction of properties of the victims worth millions of naira.
The remaining 18 suspects have been released unconditionally for lack of prima facie evidence against them, he said.
The Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris deployed a police commissioner who led the Police Special Intervention Force, comprising five units of the mobile force, five cells of counter terrorism unit and conventional policemen to the area.
Explaining how the crisis started, the police spokesperson said: “On Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 at about 2010hrs, one Alh. Nasiru Abdul Magaji of No. 50, Sabo Street, Ile-Ife, Osun State reported at Moore Police Station that one Oba Ademola Ademiluyi, the Lawarikan of Apoje land, one Eluwole Akeem and Kuburat wife of Eluwole Akeem - all of Ile-Ife, brought some hoodlums with cutlasses and other
dangerous weapons to attack the Hausa resident at Sabo area of Ile-Ife over a fight between one Abubakar Mohammed of Sabo and Kuburat the wife of Eluwole Akeem.
“The affray which arose from an altercation between the said Kuburat and Mohammed, was amicably settled on Monday, 6 March, 2017,” he said.
He said that “based on the report at the Moore Police Station, a case of conduct likely to cause breach of peace was made against the duo of Kuburat and Mohammed and on getting to the scene; the police team met two groups comprising the Hausas and the Yorubas throwing stones at each other.”
Moshood said “the riotous groups were dispersed and calm was restored. The responding police teams maintained presence at Sabo area of Ile-Ife up till the next day.
“Unexpectedly, on Wednesday 8 March, 2017, the peace of the area was shattered with the eruption of crisis that led to the gruesome killings of 46 people,” Moshood said.
He said the Special Intervention Force deployed to quell the crisis did not engage in indiscriminate arrests as being reported in some media but worked on actionable intelligence and other information gathered during and after the crisis.
The suspects paraded are: Eluwole Akeem, husband of Kuburat whose reaction was said to have generated the crisis. His wife who allegedly caused the crisis by being the first to slap the victim was also arrested. They were both arrested in Ibadan, Oyo state on 16 March, 2017.
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