Following the burning of an operational truck and motorcycles belonging to the Ondo Security Network, codenamed Amoekun, in a forest in Sanusi Village, Owo, on Thursday, four suspects have been arrested.
Due to ongoing investigations, the identities of those arrested are yet to be released, however, they were nabbed in a forest reserve in Owo Local Government Area of the state.
Commenting on the development on Saturday, the Commander of Amotekun Corps in the state, Adetunji Adeleye, said the suspects were linked with the killing of a farmer and a member of the vigilante group at Sanusi Village.
The Amotekun chief said:
“We didn’t arrest any herder in Owo. The people arrested were people we suspected were connected to the arson but we’ll look at it as murder and arson as well as wanton destruction of property. We arrested four within the first one hour of the incident there.
“We have arrested a number of suspects that are directly connected from the preliminary investigations with kidnapping, illegal mining, armed robbery in the farmland and farm destruction. We are working on that and in the appropriate time, they will be handed over to the relevant security agencies for further investigations and prosecution where necessary.”
Adeleye stressed that none of his men was killed or missing during the operation in the forest reserve.
“In one of the operations that we were involved in, it is alleged that so many members of the Ondo State Security Network Agency, Amotekun Corps were killed. I want to say that not a single soul out of the ones I recruited died at any point in time. And specifically on the Owo Ute incident, no single member of the corps or officer died during this particular operation.
“There was actually no crossfire between the herdsmen and Amotekun Corps. We’re invited into a crime zone. There was a distress call that made our men move into the forest reserve. On getting there, we parked our vehicle at a nearby village and had to trek into the forest to areas where they were troubles.
“By the time we got there, we find out that a farmer and a vigilante member had been killed. We also found out that there were lots of destructions of farmlands around the place. A couple of days before, we went on an operation to review the nefarious activities going on in the forest inclusive of illegal mining and very large plantation of Indian hemp.
“So, the area where the crisis actually happened was predominantly occupied by the workers of this dastardly act. What I mean by that is some of them are either working as kidnappers or working as illegal miners. A good number of them also had their cattle destroying the farm settlement and the farm around.”