Task force on environment arrests 132 hoodlums in metropolis



WORRIED by the rising incidents of street robberies in Lagos metropolis, officials of the Lagos Taskforce on Environment and Special Offence Unit have arrested 132 miscreants across the state.

The arrests were made during a raid, which began at night. It was gathered that 59 of the arrested miscreants have been arraigned in the Special Offence Court sitting in Alausa, while 23 under-aged among them were referred to the correctional homes for rehabilitation in the state Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

Thirty-five were arrested in Agege, Oshodi, Pen Cinema, Oko-Oba, Bariga and other parts in the state metropolis while 14 of the suspected hoodlums were also nabbed in Oshodi area of the state with wraps of weeds suspected be Indian hemps. Twenty were earlier arrested at Oshodi at the weekend.

Speaking on the arrest, the taskforce chairman, Akeem Adedeji, a Superintendent of Police, said the arrest followed the notice of increase in crime rate, saying that the agency would not fold its arms and allow criminals to over run Lagos.

According to him, the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, was committed to the protection of lives and properties in order to attract more investors and make life safe for the residents.   He said that some of the arrested criminals would be screened before they are charged to court, saying: “It is better to allow criminals to go scot-free than to punish the innocent ones.”

He added that the 23 under-aged boys would be referred to the juvenile homes for rehabilitation. Most of the ‘young miscreants’ are between ages 12 and 15 and from broken homes, he said.

According to Adedeji: “The unfortunate part of the story is that these kids have tattoos conspicuous on their bodies. They either have it on their arms or on their foreheads.

Many of them have theirs on their chest. While most of them have distinctive feature to show their superiority in the parks or enclaves.    “Our investigations so far revealed that they all belong to secret cult called ‘Awon Boys,’ where they operate in order of their ranks and superiority.

This is glaring in the tattoo on their body. I wonder where our society is heading to with the growing number of these young miscreants,” he added.   He added that the hoodlums, popularly called ‘Area Boys are suspected to have been terrorizing residents of the areas they operate.

Adedeji added that the state government took the giant step again, especially in Oshodi to sanitise the state, saying that the measure became necessary following several complaints from citizens over the rising cases of robbery attacks in the Oshodi area, especially at night.

Adedeji urged Lagosians not relent in giving tips on the activities of criminals in the state and their hideouts, assuring that the state taskforce was ready to rid off the state of criminals.

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