Commander of the Ondo State Security Network codenamed Amotekun Corps, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, has explained why 45 men from the northern extraction were arrested last week in Akure.
The 45 men were arrested in Okitipupa, headquarters of Okitipupa local government after they were dropped off a truck.
They reportedly told interrogators they were invited to the state to participate in a military training exercise.
Another source said they claimed they were invited to the state by an agent who promised to engage them as security guards to protect pipelines.
Security sources said the men were to be trained inside the Army barracks but were caught before they could proceed inside the barracks.
According to the source: “Things went awry when the people of the community noticed the unusual movement of the young men and raised the alarm. All the security agencies distanced themselves from the suspected invaders.
“There are more to the invitation of the men to Ondo state than what many might think but the decision of the State Government to send back is the best to avoid calamity.
“I don't know why the authorities here refused to take up the issue especially when Amotekun beckoned on us to take over the matter because it's a pure security risk.
“I know our command was contacted but the request to take custody of the suspects was turned down for unknown reasons”.
But the Amotekun Commander said the men could not give a satisfactory explanation about their mission to Ondo State, which was why they were sent back to their states.
Adeleye said an investigation showed they were brought in from Kano and Jigawa states.
Adeleye stated the men could not state who invited them to the state for training.
He, however, said investigation further showed the consultant that invited them has been arrested in Delta State.
According to him: “Our intel showed us the influx of some people especially to Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state. So, we monitored and we found out that they converged in front of the army barracks in Okitipupa.
“They were there for a couple of hours and at that point, we tried to find out what their mission is but because they couldn't give satisfactory explanations we moved them to our local office first in Okitipupa to try to debrief them and from the debriefing at Okitipupa, we had to move them to the state headquarters for proper debriefing.
“When they arrived, we profiled them and we found out that they are primarily from two major states, Kano and Jigawa States.
“The mission that they claimed they came for is not too clear and upon profiling, we found out that the majority of them don't even know how they got to where they got to.
“All they were told is they were going for training. Training for who, by who or whatsoever, they do not know.
Speaking on the sponsors of the youths, Adeleye said: “The sponsors happened to also claimed that they belong to an NGO, that they contracted out the training to a consultant who was supposed to train their men. They said they were going to train them as security guards.
“But as part of our discreet investigation, we found out that the so call consultant had been arrested in Delta State and I confirmed from the Delta State police Command as at today that he's still in their custody. So, we intend to release them, we will release all these ones and ensure that they are taken back to their states.
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“Right now we look at them as a security risk to the state and at this point, we invited the sponsors, the head of the NGO and Chairman of the board has also offered an explanation.”
Ondo Commissioner for Information and Orientation in the state, donald Ojogo, who commended the Amotekun corps for handling the situation maturely and professionally, said the situation would have degenerated to the extent of lynching and jungle justice.
Ojogo said: “It was almost getting to that point when they were seen in a suspicious manner in Okitipupa but the governor had to rise up to the occasion to ensure that they were given to adequate protection so that jungle justice had to be avoided. That was one of the key points that was achieved in the last 72 hours. It was a very frightening situation.
“Ordinarily looking at the insecurity situation in the country, some of these persons would have been molested if not killed but that is not what we want.
“Whatever is worth doing must be well done and we ensured as a government that they were well protected and taken care of until they were moved out of that danger zone to Akure.
“What government is trying to do today is to ensure that the way they came to the state, they will leave the state safely, peacefully and unhurt, so that when they get to their various states, they will also testify to their state government and their people that the movement that brought them to Ondo State was an unclear one and the state government had to protect them and move them back to their state.”
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