#EndSARS protests: Police arrest 25 suspected looters in Kaduna

The Kaduna State Police Command has arrested no fewer than 25 suspects for allegedly looting private and public property, as hoodlums hijacked the #EndSARS protests.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, said this at a press conference in Kaduna on Monday.

He said that following the current trend of #EndSARS protests in the country and the subsequent hijacking of the protests by hoodlums, the state witnessed the looting and destruction of property.

He said consequently the state government imposed a 24-hour curfew to curb criminal activities of the miscreants.

Jalige said that with the responsibility of enforcing law and order placed on the police and other sister security agencies, the command went into action.

He said that in view of this, the command apprehended 25 suspects for alleged criminal conspiracy, vandalism and looting of public and private property.

Jalige listed some of the exhibits recovered from the suspects to include, three Toyota buses, one Mercedes Benz, one Golf car and one Toyota Camry.

He said that others include six Boxer motorcycles of which three were unregistered, six bed foams, one bundle of zinc, eight tricycles, 29 bags of grains and 32 pieces of plant fibre mosquito coils.

He noted that some medical items and drugs, including electrical gadgets, among others were recovered.

According to him, the police, alongside other security agencies, are still working to ensure that more offenders are arrested.

In a related development, looting and vandalization of government properties continued Monday unchecked in Adamawa state on the second day of the curfew imposed on the state.

This is even as the state police command confirmed the arrest of over 120 suspects who allegedly took advantage of the #EndSARS protests to vandalize and loot public and private properties in different parts of the State.

The hoodlums have taken advantage of the curfew imposed across the 21 local government areas in the state to loot and vandalize public and private structures.

The police spokesman in the state Suleiman Nguroje told newsmen in an interview Monday that the arrest of suspects is on going.

He said, ‘’some items recovered from the hoodlums include looted- tractors, farm implements, and other equipment stolen.

‘’ We are yet to establish the casualty figures, though some were recorded, even as investigation is still ongoing”

Nguroje, a Deputy Superintendent of police (DSP) said, “ For now over 120 suspects were arrested by the Police and other security sister organizations for various criminal offenses ranging from arson, stealing, malicious damage to property and assault before and after the statewide curfew imposed by the Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri to restore law and order in Adamawa,” he stated.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS Protest: Labour Demands Immediate Release Of COVID-19 Palliatives In Warehouses

He explained that after police investigation, the government will prosecute these suspects with prima facie cases, who allegedly took advantage of the #EndSARS protests to destroy and loot public and private properties in different parts of the State.

To this end, the police spokesman called on the people of the state to maintain peace, law, and order in their respective communities, pledging the commitment of the command to uphold the rule of law at all times.

Some government organisations attacked and vandalised include Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency,Adamawa and Taraba Customs and Excise headquarter , Red Cross Secretariat , Agric store and Mayo Belwa local government secretariat.

KDSG relaxes curfew in 21 LGAs

By Habila Victor, Kaduna.

Kaduna State Government has relaxed the curfew in 21 Local Governments while 24-hour curfew is still enforced in Chikun and Kaduna South.

A statement by the State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs Mr Samuel Aruwan says the State Government has accepted the recommendation of the security agencies for a significant relaxation of the curfew in most of the local government areas.

According to the statement, from Tuesday, 27th October 2020, residents can pursue their lawful business between 6am and 4pm daily while Curfew hours will be from 4pm to 6am, in all local government areas except Chikun and Kaduna South.

The statement notes that, Markets, offices and commercial centres, hotels and recreation centres in the two LGAs are to remain closed during the 24-hour curfew.

It emphasised that, social and mass gatherings are also prohibited in the areas until further notice, though essential services; hospitals and medical facilities are expected to offer services during this period.

While Persons with useful information on the criminals who have engaged in looting should please call the Kaduna State Security Operations Room on 09034000060 and 08170189999.

Coalition empathize with Nigerians, Condemns Looting of Palliatives in Kaduna

The Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) has expressed empathy with Nigerians and residents of Kaduna State over issues that necessitated the #EndSARS protest in the country.

The coalition said there is an increase in police brutality, hunger, unemployment, poverty, and despondency in Nigeria.

In a statement signed by its Chairperson, Jessica Bartholomew, KADSPAC condemned the looting of CACOVID palliatives stored at a private property in Barnawa area, meant for the poor and vulnerable households in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state.

“contrary to claims that the palliatives were hoarded by politicians for private use, we want to confirm that we are privy to information on the planned distribution of the CACOVID palliatives across the state by the government”.

“Arrangement for the distribution of the palliatives to the poor and vulnerable households in Chikun Local Government and other LGAs have reached an advanced stage before the unfortunate incident”.
“What many did not know is that the building in Barnawa, where the palliatives were looted was the same one used to distribute palliatives to poor and vulnerable in Chikun local government in the pilot phase across nine local government areas in April during the lockdown”.

“As a coalition made up of civil society and media, we tracked the distribution from the same location to the various benefitting communities and reported our findings to the state-level committee and through the media”.
“We raised concerns around the unclear criteria for identifying the beneficiaries, lack of uniform packages for beneficiaries, lack of use of the social register, poor awareness, absence of civil society and media involvement in the planning process, among others”.
“As a coalition working to support the strengthening of the social protection system in Kaduna state, our major concern was to ensure that the palliative gets to the targeted groups to avoid the error of inclusion and exclusion in the process”. KADSPAC said.

The coalition further mentioned that based on their knowledge and working relationship with the government in the social protection space, the delay in distribution of the CACOVID palliatives was partly to allow the state government through the State Operations Coordinating Office (SOCU) to complete the tedious process of enumerating and capturing the poor and vulnerable into the Social Register.

They urged the government to review the planning process to ensure wider community engagement and increase public awareness on the palliative distribution, adding that it will ensure ownership by all community stakeholders and check misinformation on the palliatives that are about to be distributed.

“Recent happenings in Nigeria which started as a protest by young people calling for the end of the Police unit called State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and Police reforms, has continued to take a new but worrisome dimension.
However, what is wrong is wrong, and what happened on Saturday, October 24, 2020 is wrong”.

“As part of our request for civil society and media to be included in the planning and implementation of  social protection interventions, the government had requested from us a list of civil society actors working on social protection in the 255 wards of the state, which we have provided and they have been included in the ward committees as watchdogs to ensure that  the poor and vulnerable households benefit from the palliatives”.

“We, hereby, appeal to our fellow citizens across the State to allow these palliatives to get to the poor and vulnerable households, and join us in tracking the exercise to ensure that it gets to the targeted group rather than looting it”. The statement reads..

Police: warehouses, properties protected in Katsina

The Katsina State Police Command has declared that it has deployed its men to protect warehouses and properties from attacks by hoodlums in the state.

Its spokesman, Superintendent Gambo Isah, told Newsmen that the command, in collaboration with security agencies, has taken proactive measures to protect public and private properties as well as lives.

He added that the security agencies have concluded arrangements to embark on a show of force on the streets of Katsina and the local government areas beginning today.

He assured that there would be regular patrols on the streets and strategic locations henceforth to ensure adequate protection of lives and properties.

He said: “Yes all the warehouses in the state and indeed other properties are fully secured. Security agencies are to embark on a show of force and street patrols as from Monday.

“Also DPOs and Area Commanders have been directed to withdraw police personnel attached to VIPs to ensure a healthy pool of resources.”

Also, the PPRO has also confirmed that gunmen suspected to be marauding bandits killed two people and abducted six others in Faskari Local Government Area.

He said: “Gunmen with AK-47 rifles attacked Bilbis village in Faskari Local Government Area and shot one victim in the leg.”

STF arrests 30 suspects for looting Dogara’s home in Jos

The Special Military Task Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), maintaining peace in Plateau State has arrested 30 suspects for vandalising and looting valuables at the Jos residence of former Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

Commander of the task force Maj.-Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo paraded the suspects before reporters on Sunday in Jos.

He said the surprising aspect of it was that women outnumbered the men in the looting exercise.

According to him, 13 males and 17 females were arrested at the house.

Okonkwo, who described the act as criminal, said the suspects violated the 24-hour curfew imposed on some parts of the state by the government.

“This is purely an act of criminality. Vandalising and looting government property and that of private individuals is criminal.

“So, we cannot sit down and watch miscreants looting public and private properties in the state,” he said.

The commander said the suspects would be handed over to the appropriate authority for prosecution.

Items recovered from the suspects include: eight grinding machines, two unassembled tricycles, one tricycle engine and one bale of clothing materials.

The task force had earlier arrested 123 suspects for vandalising and looting items from private businesses and government properties within Jos.

Kaduna acting governor denies COVID-19 palliative was hoarded

The Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe has clarified that the food items that were looted on Saturday were donations from Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID).

Dr Balarabe also dispelled the rumour that the donations were hoarded by the government or any of its officials. She praised law-abiding citizens and appealed for their understanding on the necessity of the 24-hour statewide curfew.

In a state broadcast on Sunday evening, the Acting Governor explained that ‘’the government was ready to commence distribution in all the local government areas, after taking pains to arrange a fair and efficient system.’’

According to her, ‘’Kaduna State received the last delivery of CACOVID items after lifting the lockdown, at a time when the state’s Covid-19 figures were rising.’’

“The government considered the real possibility that a second lockdown might be required. Therefore, it weighed the prospect of using these donations to mitigate the lockdown were such to happen,’’ Dr Balarabe said.

The Acting Governor said that ‘’government did not wish to rely again on donations by public servants in Kaduna State that had funded the first two rounds of palliatives distributed in the state.’’

‘’However, the government subsequently decided to distribute the CACOVID items to vulnerable citizens, using the lessons from the distribution of the items purchased by the state government during the lockdown,’’ she added.

Dr Balarabe said that one of these lessons that were learnt from the previous exercises ‘’ is about better targeting of beneficiaries in order to ensure fair spread across local governments.’’

‘’The Local Government Co-Ordinators and Ward Committees were tasked with identifying vulnerable persons in areas where the Social Register data was unavailable,’’ she added.

The Acting Governor recalled that the state had purchased and distributed palliatives in two phases across the 23 local government areas.

‘’However, new guidelines were included for CACOVID distribution at ward level to help ensure a fair spread and ease the movement of beneficiaries to pick the items.

“The items are bulky and it’s easier and cheaper for them to pick up at the ward level rather than centralized locations in the local government areas,’’ she said.

According to the Acting Governor, ‘’arrangements for distributing the items had been concluded, such that each beneficiary knew where they would be receiving their items as supervised by ward committees who in many instances do not personally know the beneficiaries.’’

Dr Balarabe argued that these elaborate arrangements were to ensure a transparent exercise in handling CACOVID donations is part of the government’s duty of political responsiveness.

‘’Mob action cannot replace the methodical steps taken to identify these persons and arrange for them to safely receive the items,’’ she said.

The Acting Governor condemned the looting of the food items, arguing that there can be no other word but theft to describe it.

Dr Balarabe further pointed out that the looted items were kindly provided to all the 36 states by the generosity of a private-sector coalition.

The Acting Governor, however, commended the vast majority of the people of Kaduna State for being law-abiding and for not allowing criminal actions in their communities.

‘’We regret the inconvenience that this statewide curfew might have caused for such persons. The curfew is a difficult but necessary step for containing the violence and preventing it from infecting peaceful communities,’’ she argued.

Dr Balarabe assured that government ‘’ will keep reviewing the security situation while doing our utmost to protect citizens and their property.’’

‘’I appeal to all residents to comply with the curfew and help us accelerate a return to the normalcy that decent citizens deserve,’’ she advised.

The Acting Governor said that she and other senior government officials have inspected many of the locations where criminal actions of looting and vandalisation occurred.

‘’We have met community leaders and made it clear that what happened yesterday will not be tolerated. There can be no excuses for the crimes we have witnessed,’’ she said.

According to Balarabe, ‘’the state is obliged to find and prosecute those involved in the criminal actions that unfolded yesterday.’’

‘’Those who instigated these actions and who sadly persist in incitement should also expect to hear from the law,’’ she vowed.