10 prisoners who escaped during a jail break from that occurred at two Nigerian Correctional Centres in Benin City on October 19, 2020 have been arrested for armed robbery in Edo State.
They were arrested by the police for various offences in the cause of the nationwide EndSARS peaceful protest against police brutality and other issues of concern before hoodlums hijacked it.
The State Commissioner of police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo paraded the suspects along with 116 other on Wednesday at the police headquarters in Benin City.
He confirmed the arrest of some suspects who burnt down police formations in some parts of the State, that are currently assisting police in tracing other members of the criminal gangs.
But, the suspects were not among those that were paraded by the Commissioner of police.
One of suspects after haven escaped from Oko prisons went back to his Village and on that same day with the intention to kill the person who stood as prosecution witness in his case that took him to prison. He has been arrested by the police.
Also, another group of three had gone ahead to snatch a vehicle – Lexus SUV, according to the police, “the thee of them meant in the prisons and were equally caught by the police”.
Besides, a set of two criminal gang escapees who meant in the prisons, had equally stolen a Toyota Camry car who were equally arrested under Okada Division of the Nigeria police.
76-year-old retired military personnel, Mr. Innocent Fidelis who was also arrested, alleged went to procure a a herbal medicine for his grand son who was suffering from spleen ailment around Aduwawa Community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of the State.
Briefing newsmen on their involvement, the State Commissioner of police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, alleged that arms and ammunitions from some of the suspects.
According to him, “We have a total of 10 escapees from there.
“Arms and ammunitions which were recovered from the suspected criminals were also displayed by the police.
“For goodness sake, how do you convince any reasonable mab that these were possessed by lawful protesters that we know of that are harmless.
“We have a number of police stations that were razed down. In some instances, armed and ammunitions were carted away. Public and private warehouses were vandalised and looted. Individuals were violently attacked for no just cause. There was also unprovoked attack on innocent Citizens and policemen who were discharging their statutory responsibilities.
“We on our part, we have been able to make a very clear distinction between protesters who are on lawful protests and of course common criminals and hoodlums who had engaged themselves in all forms of brigandage”, Kokumo said.
Narrating his ordeal, Mr. Henry Atale who escaped from the Benin custodial Centre also known as ‘white house’, alleged that he was arrested at a military roadblock on his war to Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the State after the jail break.
Atale alleged that the unidentified driver of black Toyota SUV car who offered him a lift, escaped after they were intercepted by soldiers and in the process, he was arrested.
He also said that he never knew that his car was stolen.
A three-man robbery gang, Mr. Eddy Favour, Mr. Abraham Matthew who was sent to jail in May 2016 for armed robbery with his friend, Mr. Patrick Eguavoen who also spoke on the level of their involvement.
Speaking during an interview with newsmen, Mr. Ehize Obi, 41-year-old accomplice, alleged that he meant two other prisoners in prison before the jail break on October 19, 2020.
He alleged that, Mr. Patrick Eguavoen, provided contacted them to snatch his brother’s car in connivance with a dealer, Mr. and a mechanic, Mr. Richard Owaikhoile, 55-year-old to repair and sell a stolen car for N1.5 million before they were arrested along with the supposed buyer, Mr. Obi by the police at Aluma juncture in Igueben Local Government Area of the State.
Elsewhere around Medical stores road in Benin where Edo State Government was breached by angry mob on Saturday, a middle-aged man, lost his commercial tricycle operator to thieves while on his way to steal foodstuff from the warehouse.
Meanwhile, mobile court trial for some of the arrested suspects have started at the State police headquarters in Benin City.