Owo massacre: We’re not aware Amotekun arrested masterminds, say CAN, monarch

Amotekun operatives vehicle
Amotekun operatives vehicleFILE

The Olowo of Owo, Oba Ogunoye, and the Christian Association of Nigeria, revealed that they are not aware of the arrest of suspects in connection with the Owo attack.

WuzupNigeria reported that no fewer than 40 worshippers were killed when unknown gunmen invaded the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, on June 5, leaving many others injured.

On Thursday, the Ondo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun Corps, said some suspects have been arrested in connection with the terrorist attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.

The state commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, told journalists in Akure on Thursday that some suspects had been arrested in connection with the attack without giving further details about the number of suspects arrested and their current location.

However, Oba Ogunoye; the chairman of the state chapter of the CAN, Rev. Fr. Anselm Ologunwa; and the Director of Social Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Rev. Fr. Augustine Ikwu, told The PUNCH that they were not aware of the arrest.

Adeleye spoke about the arrest while parading 71 men who were arrested for various criminal activities across the state.

He said, “As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on.

“A number of people have been arrested concerning the Owo issue as well as some equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point that we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them.

“We have told you that until we get to the root, I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book.”

On the 71 suspects paraded, Adeleye explained that the suspects were arrested within the last one month for various offences including armed robbery, cattle rustling, kidnapping, rape and human trafficking.

He added, “The 71 suspects were picked while committing offences and others were tracked to their hideouts in the forests. We have been able to get a cartel that specialises in stealing and dismantling motor bikes which we all know as okada. Also we were able to recover over 50 bikes during the operation from these criminals.

“We also got reports from some herdsmen that their cattle were stolen. We went after them and brought the cows back to the herdsmen.

“We have a group of small boys who are under 18 years that turned themselves into a cartel of criminals in a particular local government in Ondo State and armed themselves. They actually belong to a cult group called ‘Agbado’. We were able to arrest 12 out of the 17 members.

“We have about three to four suspected kidnappers and we intend to take most of these suspects, especially the ones we have concluded their investigations, to the Director of Public Prosecution and for their onward prosecution in court.”

We are not aware

The monarch, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said, “I can’t confirm it (the arrest) because I have not been informed by the security people. I just read it on social media but we will be patient for the security agency on it.”

Also, the state chairman of CAN, Ologunwa, said, “I don’t have such information and I can’t comment on the matter. I will implore us to be patient, let us have the details of the matter.”

When contacted, the spokesman of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Ikwu, simply said, “I have not been informed.”

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