Some persons have been arrested in connection with the killing of worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
Disclosing this on Thursday to newsmen in Akure, the state capital, the Commander of Ondo State Security Network, otherwise known as Amotekun, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye said some firearms used in the attack were also recovered from the suspects and the vehicle in which they escaped.
Though he didn’t disclose the excact number of suspects arrested in connection with the attack, Adeleye reassured the people of the state that the Corps would arrest everyone connected to the mass killing of worshippers in the church on June 5, 2022, vowing that they would not escape from the long arm of the law.
He said: “As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests. 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 a number of equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursing 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.”
The Amotekun Corps also paraded 71 other suspected criminals at the command’s headquarters who were allegedly involved in kidnapping, cattle rustling, robbery and cultism.
According to the Corps commander, they were arrested across the 18 local government areas of the state.
He said: “In the last fews weeks, we have been under serious pressure of attack. In the same vein, men of the Ondo State Security Network Agency have equally gone out after these criminals.
“We are parading 71 suspects. The suspects were arrested within the last one month for various offences including armed robbery, cattle rustling, suspected kidnappers, rapists, fraudsters and human traffickers .
“The 71 suspects were picked while committing offences and others were tracked to their hideouts in 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 motorbikes 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 years 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.
“We want to assure the good people of Ondo State that we will not rest on our oars untill we get to the bottom of ridding the state of criminal elements. There is no hiding place for them. They turned the heat on us and we have also turned the heat on them.
“Recently, the number of these sad occurrences in the Northern Senatorial part of the state had been on the increase. We are intensifying all efforts to get to root of the mischievous and barbaric acts of these criminal elements
“So to the people in the Northern Senatorial dDstrict, especially in the bother towns in Akoko, we will continue with our operation clean-up until when the very last of these criminals are driven out of these forest”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.