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Tension as Obaseki deploys 120 security men to apprehend criminals in Okomu forest



By Timi Black
Chief Correspondent

Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, told newsmen in Benin that he has deployed over 120 security personnel to Okomu Palm reserves and other forests in the state, particularly the Ovia Forest to apprehend and dislodge criminals who invaded Okomu palm company in the state.

The governor stated this shortly after presiding over the February Security Council Meeting at the Executive Council (EXCO) Chambers in Government House, Benin City.

Obaseki explained that the Council was working to deploy more security personnel to other forests across the state, to prevent criminals from migrating to places currently enjoying peace.

He emphasized that the state had an impressive drop of incidence from about 170 in January to 46 in February.

According to him, the state security council is working proactively to ensure the security of lives and property in communities where farmers/herders clashes are prevalent.

The governor narrated: “We have deployed over 120 security personnel to dislodge criminals from the Ovia axis of our forest. We got information that criminals are trying to come back, but we have redeployed more security personnel. We are working on how to completely flush them out of Edo State.”

The governor asserted that the Security Council equally resolved to immediately begin the arrest and prosecution of owners of unregistered vehicles, as well as vehicles with covered number plates in the state.

The State sector commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Henry Benamaisia, said the agency has discovered that criminals move around the state with unregistered plate numbers.

He posited that to check the security threat, “the state government has set up a task force to arrest offenders starting from today”.(Wednesday)

The FRSC boss averred that the Nigerian Government through the FRSC has approved 5,000 plate numbers for the state, adding, “All plate numbers must not be covered but opened as security agencies from this week will embark on a massive operation to arrest offenders.”

The State police commissioner, CP Philip Ogbadu also narrated that between January and February, the command arrested several suspects including three persons on the police wanted list since June 2021.

According to the police boss, three AK-47 rifles were recovered from the suspected kidnappers.

However, the Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluwole Iyamu (SAN) explained that after a meeting between the Governor and the EFCC in Edo state, the state is developing a coordinated approach to stamp out cybercrime from the state.