Reporter: CHUKWUBUIKE MADU
The Nigeria Police, Enugu State Command has paraded twenty-three male suspects for alleged involvement in the recent violent protest that led to the destruction of public and private property in Enugu.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed AbdurRahman, who paraded the suspects, expressed sadness that two policemen were killed during the protest while two police stations and three police posts were burnt.
He gave details of the affected police facilities that were destroyed as follows:
“Emene Police Station with two operational Hilux and other vehicles, including exhibits, which was burnt down;
“Amechi-Idodo Police Station, which was burnt down”
“Akwatta Police Post under Central Police Station, which was burnt down;
“Maryland Police Post under Uwani Police Division, which was burnt down; and
“Phase 6 Police Post under Trans-Ekulu Police Division, which was set ablaze and partially burnt.”
The Police Commissioner also remarked that four banks and their Automated Teller Machines (ATM), alongside the new Immigration Office and the Enugu North Local Government Secretariat were among other public facilities that were looted, vandalized and/or burnt.
“Nigeria Immigration Service Office Complex at Emene, which was set ablaze and office equipment carted away;
“National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Office Building at Emene, which was set ablaze;
“Njodo Community Development Centre, Emene, which was burnt;
“Enugu North Local Government Council Secretariat’s security house, which was burnt down while some of its office buildings were destroyed;
“University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus security house, which was vandalized;
“First, Access, UBA, Fidelity, Eco and other Banks’ ATMs as well as shops, which were destroyed and/or vandalized,” the Police Commissioner enumerated with dismay.
Mr. AbdurRahman explained that ninety-seven percent of the suspects were from the neigbouring Ebonyi State and were arrested when the destruction became unbearable.
The Commissioner of Police, who urged parents to caution their children and wards against involvement in crimes and senseless violent protest, however, commended some youths for their patriotism in protecting two police stations and other public facilities from being vandalized.
“Uwani Police Station was under siege and Abakpa Police Station. The policemen were almost about to be set ablaze inside their police station.
“The youth came in their numbers and used themselves as vanguards and protected and chased away the hoodlums.
“This will never be forgotten in the annals of history,” Mr. AbdurRahman assured the people.
Items allegedly recovered from the suspects were thirteen machetes, charms, some cash, iron weapons and a bag containing different brands of phones.
Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner did not give room for questions from newsmen as there was no comment on the number of civilian casualties and the police weapons that were allegedly looted by hoodlums during the violent protest.