The Ondo State chapter of the Southwest local security outfit popularly known as Amotekun has confirmed the arrest of no fewer than 4000 suspected criminals in the state.
Naija News understands that the suspects identified with different criminal acts were nabbed across the 18 council areas of the state.
The state commander of the Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, said in a statement made available to newsmen during the weekend that the activeness of the security outfit has reduced criminality in the state by more than 70 per cent.
Adeleye confirmed that the four thousand suspects were arrested between January and May this year.
He said they were arrested for various crimes including kidnapping, armed robbery, human trafficking illegal possession of firearms among others
Adeleye, who is also the Special Adviser to the state governor, said that the security outfit “was committed to making the state crime-free and would not relent on its Operation Clean-Up efforts to eradicate crime in the state.”
He added: “On the average, between January and May 2022, we have made about 4,000 arrests and through the office of the Director of Public Prosecution of Ondo State, we’ve been able to send a reasonable number of them to correctional centres and prosecution are going on while the diligent investigation is going on many others.
“The criminal suspects were arrested for various crimes including kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, rape, theft, illegal possession of firearms, child trafficking, cultism, and human relations violations among others.
“Comparatively, in the last five months of last year and the first five months of this year, we have a very sharp decrease in the number of suspects arrested.
“Last year, on maintenance of law and order in the line of violators of open grazing law alone, we arrested close to 4,000 but this year, we have not arrested up to 1,000.
“Also, comparatively too, virtually all forms of criminal activities are on the decline in the state. Unlike before when kidnapping was an everyday issue, it is no longer as rampant as it was within the metropolis and even in the border towns, it is now becoming a thing of the past.
“These are part of landmarks and achievements of the Ondo State Security Network Agency,” Adeleye noted.
The Amotekun boss recalled that the security outfit started the year on a very good note.
He said that December was eventfully peaceful until the security had the first major carnage in Ose local government.
Adeleye, however, commended the men of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army for their collaboration in making the arrests.
He said: “On the clean-up operation, the military of Kogi partnered with the 32 Artillery Brigade in Akure and men of Amotekun corps as well as the local hunters of all the villages around the border towns and to a very large extent, we were able to drive these criminals away.
“We observed that these criminals come to Ondo State, strike and move back to Kogi. The same thing also happens around Ose Local Government where they strike and move to Edo state through the river.”
Adeleye added: “These criminals always take advantage of the fact that there are no Amotekun in Kogi and Edo, but that has since been stopped now as the security agencies in these two neighbouring states are collaborating with us.”