Not less than 125 looters have been apprehended by the Nigerian Police Force in Lagos for the vandalisation of properties owned by South Africans.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, has also instructed that the security be strengthened around embassies, foreign missions, foreigners and their businesses within the country.
The development comes from the reprisal attacks on South African telecommunication giant, MTN’s offices and Shoprite outlet in Lekki area of Lagos on Tuesday by some hoodlums, who attacked and looted the Malls, under the pretext of protesting against the incessant “xenophobic” attacks in South Africa.
A statement has been released by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba which states that all Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police across the federation had been placed on red alert to ensure no similar violence is repeated within the country.
The statement reads,
“The IGP condemns the violent attacks and notes that three police officers were seriously injured and a Police operational vehicle set ablaze. He also notes that a total number of One Hundred and Twenty-Five (125) suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident while a good number of looted valuables have been recovered by the Police.
“While recognizing the rights of citizens to air their views on salient national issues as enshrined in our statutes, the Force reiterates that these must be done within the confines of the law. Miscreants and criminally-minded people who masquerade as genuine protesters are therefore warned to stay off the streets of Nigeria as the Force will not hesitate to bring to bear the full weight of the law on any such lawbreaker. Parents and Guardians are therefore enjoined to prevail on their children and wards to desist from acts capable of causing breakdown of law and order in the country,”
The statement added that the Force has “commenced investigations and profiling of the arrested suspects with a view to establishing their connection with the stealing, malicious damage, arson and disturbance of public peace on the day of the incident.”
The police however reassured, “all law-abiding citizens, embassies, foreign missions, foreigners and their businesses within the country of their security and safety.”