Looting Spree: Osun, Plateau govts issue ultimatum for return of looted items

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The governments of Plateau and Osun have issued ultimatums for the return of all items looted during the raid on properties or risk being arrested.

Addressing journalists after visiting various sites and evaluating the level of damage done in the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, governor of Osun, gave looters 72 hours to return all items stolen in different parts of the state.

Speaking at Tuns Farm in Osogbo on Sunday, the governor said those that return properties stolen within the grace period will be granted amnesty.

“I will say that what I witnessed here today is not actually a question of hoodlums, but armed robbers. They have actually removed all the machines that are here,” he said.

“It is very unfortunate. What I have seen here is massive looting, armed robbery and stealing of the highest order.

“I can say categorically that EndSARS protest is not what we are seeing here today. This is pure looting and it is all over. That is why we are talking to the people that this protest had been hijacked by miscreants.

“You can see the level of damage; you can see the level of destruction; you can see the level of consequential loss. I decided to go round to look at the level of damage. It is irreparable because of the loss of life.

“We have a lot of lessons to learn. Yes, we can protest, we can register our grievances but we should not allow it to be hijacked by miscreants and hoodlums because we cannot predict their activities.

“What we are experiencing now is a pre-planned attack. The hoodlums were just waiting for an opportunity to carry out their heinous acts.

“Let me say this clearly that those who participated in this looting made serious mistakes because the machines looted have serial numbers. I will only advise them to return the machines.

“We are going to give the looters 72 hours to encourage those that have participated in the looting to return what they have stolen to the palaces of the traditional rulers or offices of chairmen of their various councils. Should they fail to do so, we will get them.

“So, it is an opportunity for them to take advantage of the 72 hours to return the looted items and we shall give them the amnesty. But should they fail to do so, I can assure you we have all it takes to track them.”

In thesame vein, a statement on Monday, from Mr. Donbey Peters, spokesman of the Plateau state police command, said those who stole COVID-19 palliatives should return them before Wednesday.

“Sequel to the ugly occurrences that bedevilled some parts of the state, particularly Jos North and Jos South LGAs, the commissioner of police, Plateau state command, CP Edward Egbuka, has condemned in totality the breaking and looting into government warehouses, shops and private houses of individuals by hoodlums and other criminals within Jos and Bukuru metropolis under the guise of #EndSARS protests,” the statement read.

“He stated that the government of Plateau state is giving these looters the grace to return immediately, every looted item to the nearest local government office not later than Wednesday 28/10/2020.

“Anyone found in possession of any looted item after this date will be arrested and brought to book.” The 24-hour curfew imposed to curb violence in both states is still in progress.

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