Police Warn Edo Vigilante Groups Against Detention Camps, Illegal Duty


A file photo of a police patrol van.

 

Any vigilante member who engages in illegal duty or other criminal activities will be arrested and prosecuted, the police have warned.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Isaac Akinmoyede, also cautioned vigilante groups against maintaining detention camps.

He stressed that all suspects arrested should be immediately handed over to the police for diligent investigation and possible prosecution.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the zone, Tijani Momoh, revealed in a statement on Friday that the AIG issued the warning on Tuesday at a meeting with the leaders and members of the Edo State Security Network (Vigilante), and top police officers in Edo.

This followed an incident of murder, arson, and sporadic shooting at Ugonoba community in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the state.

On Sunday, the police received information that the house of the community leader was set ablaze by hoodlums as a result of the killing of a member of Ugonoba.

Thereafter, police operatives from Okhauhie Division were mobilised to the scene and while the Divisional Police Officer was addressing the aggrieved youths of the community, some vigilante officials were said to have arrived in three vehicles and started shooting sporadically.

This left the DPO and two other policemen, as well as an unspecified number of residents injured, leading to the directive of the AIG that the case be thoroughly investigated and all those involved in the shooting be brought to book.

He also called for strict supervision and regulation of the activities of vigilante groups operating in Edo and asked the Commissioner of Police in the state to profile all the vigilante officials to avoid a situation where criminals infiltrate their ranks.

Akinmoyede informed the meeting that soon, training would be organised for the vigilante members to enable them work hand in hand with the police, especially in the area of intelligence gathering and operational duties.

He, however, acknowledged the contributions of the vigilante members in aiding the police in the fight against crime and charged them to continue to carry out their duties professionally.


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