L-R: Commander, 651 Airforce Ikeja, Air Commodore Sunday Makinde; Director of Department of State Security (DSS) Lagos Command, M.S. Abdulfatai; Deputy Commissioner of Police Operation, Lagos Command, DCP Ali Mohammed; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Tayo Ayinde; Commander 9 Brigade Army Cantonment Ikeja, Nasiru Muhammed and Commander NNS Beecroft, Commodore Ibrahim Shettima during a media briefing after the State Security Meeting held at Lagos House, Alausa.

By Modupe Oremule

The Nigerian Navy said it has arrested 41 people for partaking in various criminal acts, including looting and attacks on innocent citizens in Lagos State, during the #EndSARS protests.

Cdr. Ibrahim Shettima, the Commander, BEECROFT, made this known to newsmen on Friday in Lagos.

Shettima was represented by Commander Andy Zidon, the Base Operations and Acting Executive Officer of NNS BEECROFT.

He said the recovered items included: vehicles, household appliances, industrial equipment, food stuff, clothes, jewellery and bicycles.

“In the course of the operation, 41 individuals were arrested for partaking in various criminal acts, including looting and attacks on innocent citizens of Lagos State.

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“They have been handed over to the Nigerian Police today (Friday). Furthermore, a large number of looted items were recovered at various locations across our Area of Operations and evacuated to the Base.

“These items include: vehicles, household appliances, industrial equipment, food stuff, clothes, jewellery, bicycles estimated at over 100 million Naira,” he said.

NNS BEECROFT was working with the Lagos State Government in order to handover the items to be returned to the rightful owners, the commander said.

“In fact, a large truck and Mini-Bus were also discovered loaded with looted items about to be taken out of state,” he said.

Shettima said that during the unrest period, the Base conducted not less than 200 active patrols and responded to not less than 50 distress calls from citizens and organisations.

“Around Oct.19, Lagos State plunged into a civil unrest characterised by riots, looting and reported widespread criminal activities by hoodlums and miscreants.

“NN responded to the crisis in an effective and timely manner to help ensure the return of normalcy within its Area of Operations.

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“This operation was conducted under the Lagos State Security architecture code named OP MESA, which designates, Apapa, Orile, Ijora, Costain, Surulere, Mile 12, Amukoko etc as the AOR for the NN,” the commander said.

According to him, the Base conducted patrols and took all necessary measures within the ambits of the law, as well as Internal Security Standard Operating Procedure for the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Shettima said that NNS BEECROFT also deployed personnel to Tincan Island Port and Apapa Wharf to safeguard those critical national assets.

“Furthermore, additional personnel were deployed to secure all NNPC installations at Tarkwa Bay Island, including Terminals/Tanks Farms and the Atlas Cove Jetty.

“Harbour Patrols were conducted around the Ports and Lagos Anchorage to prevent miscreants from attacking visiting merchant vessels,” he said.

Shettima said that the NNS BEECROFT also assisted in the securing of the Nigerian Port Authority Headquarters at Marina after the building was invaded by hoodlums who looted and put fire to the building.

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He said that the Base, in conjunction with NPA security, also recovered a Toyota Land Cruiser SUV stolen from the Headquarters, saying that the vehicle was in the Base for safe custody.

He said that the NNS BEECROFT and NN would continue to work with all groups, individuals and sister services to ensure complete restoration of peace, law and order.

Some of the individuals, whose shops were looted, commended the NN for swiftly responding to their cries of help.

An employee of a textile shop, Seun Olugbodi, whose shop was looted, commended the NN for coming to her rescue.

“We are here to identify some of our things, which we have seen, and we are grateful to the NN; we are hoping that they could do more.

“We were able to recover a few, it might not be much, but it is something.

“We have not been able to estimate the total cost of damage, because our shops in Lekki and Surulere were looted,” Olugbodi said.

NAN