The Nigerian Army says it has arrested over 40 suspects for various offences within Lagos and Ogun states after the launch of ‘Exercise CROCODILE SMILE 2 ‘ by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The army made this known through a statement by the 81 Division spokesperson, Lt.-Col. Olaolu Daudu in Lagos.
According to him, so far, the troops have been carrying out routine activities associated with the exercise seamlessly along with other sisters services, security and para military agencies.
“Some suspected criminals have been arrested; drug peddlers, cultists, car snatchers and other criminal elements have been denied freedom of action through patrols, raids, road blocks and checkpoints.
“On Oct. 4, based on credible information on activities of pipeline vandals at Ronik Hotel Agbule Egba area of Lagos state, troops of 149 Battalion, 81 Division Nigerian Army were immediately dispatched for a Cordon and search Operation.
“The troops arrested the suspected pipeline vandals and items found within the hotel premises include 16 loaded kegs of premium motor spirit (PMS), 5 cars and 2 tankers loaded with PMS,” he said.
He said the suspects have been interrogated, profiled and handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“In a related development, on Oct. 11, troops of 174 Battalion, 81 Division Nigerian Army while on a stop and search operation arrested a car robber who snatched a Toyota Venza with reg no. FST 762 CV along Ikorodu – Sagamu road.
“The suspect who was fleeing with the stolen vehicle rammed into other vehicles and pedestrians in a bid to escape and was arrested by troops.
“The suspect and the recovered vehicle have been handed over to Owutu Divisional police Headquarters,” he said.
He also said that five drug peddlers were apprehended with gallons of unidentified chemical substances and Indian hemp on Oct. 14 by troops of Sector 5, 243 Battalion at Agbara area of Lagos State in conjunction with men of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
“Arrested suspects and items have been handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation.
“Similarly, raid and clearance operations were carried out on Oct. 14, by troops of 65 Battalion Sector 1 of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE 2 at Ajah general area.
“Nine suspects were arrested with bags containing Indian hemp,” he said.
The spokesman also said another raid operation was carried out by troops of 9 Brigade Garrison Sector 4 at Ipodo, Ikeja general area where five suspects were arrested.
Daudu added that four suspected cult members were arrested around Badagry area on Oct. 15.
“At about 11.59 pm, gunmen suspected to be cultists attacked Rolex Hotel in Ajara area of Badagry.
“Following a distress call to troops of 243 Battalion Sector 5 on Exercise CROCODILE SMILE 2 on activities of suspected cultists, troops responded immediately and arrested 4 suspected cultists.
“Also a follow up of suspected cultists attack, two suspects were arrested in connection with previous attacks at Rolex Hotel.
“The arrested suspects were detained and preliminary investigation is in progress while suspects would be handed over to relevant security agencies for further investigation and prosecution,” he said.
The spokesperson reassured the public that the Division is poised to maintain peace and security in the entire Lagos and Ogun States.