Nigeria News
Edo Assembly crisis: Police arrest 12 suspects

TWELVE persons have been arrested by the Police in Edo State over the invasion of the state House of Assembly quarters in Benin City by armed thugs, Saturday morning.

One of the buses used by the thugs was also recovered.


This came as Governor Adams Oshiomhole, after inspecting the scene, expressed shock over the level of mayhem.

Calling on the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Folunso Adebanjo, to bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to book, the governor said he would petition President Goodluck Jonathan on the issue and await his response.

However, Adebanjo, who disclosed that 12 suspects had been arrested, warned politicians in the state against sponsoring violence, noting that the command was doing its best to ensure that those involved in the mayhem were brought to book.

He said: “Throughout last night (Saturday) we were going round and today (Sunday)  we will continue. The state police command has observed with concern an upsurge in politically motivated violence in the state, particularly in Benin City. This does not augur well for peace and tranquility in the state as we march towards the 2015 general elections.

“The state command is hereby making it categorically clear that activities of hoodlums and miscreants geared towards disturbing the peace of the state will not be tolerated. Political gladiators are warned to stop sponsoring thuggery in the state. The police will not fold their arms and allow a break down of law and order. Henceforth, anybody caught sponsoring or taking part in any act of thuggery will be dealt with decisively according to the laws of the land. Political actors are advised not to take laws into their hands but to seek redress through the court system on matters of disagreement between them.

“Edo people are advised to go about their lawful business without fear of molestation. They are hereby encouraged to report activities of political thugs and their sponsors that are likely to disturb the relative peace that is being enjoyed in the state right now.”

Heavily armed thugs stormed the Assembly quarters at about 6:30am Saturday shooting sporadically.

Oshiomhole alleged that PDP masterminded the attack.

He said: “It is very clear that the Police granted permission for this attack. The Commissioner of Police was informed at about  10:00pm  last night of the PDP plan to attack the Legislators’ quarters and the APC office. We made this intelligence available to the Commissioner of Police and you can see that even the minimal police presence here was evacuated so that these thugs could come and unleash a free reign of terror. This morning, when they assembled at a point where they were meant to assemble, the fact was conveyed to the Commissioner of Police.

“They actually assembled at George Idah Primary School this morning before they proceeded and the Police provided supervision for this very serious criminal act.”

Reacting to the allegation that PDP masterminded the attack, the state chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, said: ”There is no truth whatsoever in the governor’s allegations that we organized thugs to disrupt the President’s visit and even the House of Assembly quarters. After welcoming Mr. President to Edo State on Friday, many of us went to our homes, had a light dinner and went to bed. It is common knowledge that what happened at the Assembly quarters may have been borne out of the attack on Mr. Rasaq Momoh, a PDP lawmaker and the fact that those accused are still free. What happened was not the work of our party. We believe in the law enforcement agencies to deal with the situation.  The APC has perfected plans to eliminate PDP leaders in Edo State over the attack in the Assembly quarters.”

He added it was regrettable that days after the attack on Momoh, “the governor has not deemed it fit to condemn the attack on an elected member of Edo State House of Assembly.”

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