Ladipo Market: Arrested Bakassi Boys To Face Trial
Weapons found in their possession
Twelve suspected members of the Bakassi Boys arrested on Monday at Ladipo Market, Mushin in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria will soon be charged to court.
The suspected Bakassi Boys, who were allegedly terrorising traders at the Ladipo Market, were arrested by officials of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit shortly after the closure of the market due to filth and degradation of the environment on Monday.
Some of the suspects arrested are Chibike Eze, Monday Chukwu, Obinna Ibe, Ndubuisi Ezinwane, Samson Ape and Tochi Kinsley.
The items recovered from the suspects include over 10 cutlasses, knives, charms and rings, among others.
Taskforce Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman, Chief Superintendent of Police, said the suspects would be charged to court soon for the law to take its due course.
“They initially dared us by showing us their charms and we are also aware that they have weapons. We are going to charge them to court,” he said.
Chairman of Mushin Local Government, Olatunde Adepintan had told the taskforce that criminals and suspected members of Bakassi Boys were living inside the market.
Sulaiman said the suspects, allegedly armed with weapons, dared the police to enter the market before they were arrested inside the Aguiyi Ironsi Spare Parts Market, a section of the market.
P.M.NEWS learnt that the taskforce officials forced the massive gate to the market open as it was shut from inside by the suspected hoodlums.
The police, however, called for reinforcement as they got wind that the suspects were armed with guns and dangerous weapons.
As the police gained entrance into the market, one of the hoodlums brought out a knife and challenged them. But when the hoodlums realised that they were outnumbered by the police, they attempted to escape, but 12 of the 18 suspects were arrested.
One of the suspects, Eze, denied that they were members of Bakassi Boys.
He said that they were security men hired by Jonathan Okorie.
He said the cutlasses and the charms recovered from them were used for security purposes.
“We were 18 but some of us have fled. I am not a criminal. I am here to secure this market. Since I came here, I have been sleeping in this market,” he said.
Meanwhile traders of Ladipo Market are complaining about the closure of the market.
The traders who were dispersed by the taskforce officials with several canisters of teargas said they were caught unawares as they never expected the market to be shut without notice.
A trader, who craved anonymity, told P.M.NEWS: “We don’t like the closure. This will cause suffering. We came in this morning (yesterday) and met our market shut and the police stopped us from entering. No notice was given to us and what are we going to do now?”
Another trader simply identified as Nduibuisi, appealed to government to re-open the market as the traders would lose lots of money.
Taskforce Chairman, Sulaiman said the state government had lots of issues with the market, ranging from hooliganism, lack of toilet facilities, degradation of the environment with diesel and fuel as well as traders in the market turning themselves in to another government.
“We came here two weeks ago, but the officials of the market did not show up. There was street trading and there are lots of shanties here. We will make sure that this time around, proper sanitation is done by the traders before this market will be re-opened and they have to submit to the chairman of Mushin Local Government,” he stated.