#EndSARS: Flights grounded, as hoodlums dig crater on Akure airport

#EndSARS: Flights grounded, as hoodlums dig crater on Akure airport

FG increases international airlines capacity to 200 passengers from Oct 2…Ondo Police arrest 10 for looting, vandalism

…Hoodlums loot drugs, equipment worth N120m —Osun HIS boss

…Ekiti Judicial Panel of Inquiry to commence sitting Nov 2

…Awori decries destruction of public facilities

By Dayo Johnson, Dapo Akinrefon, Rotimi Ojomoyela & Shina Abubakar

FLIGHT operations were completely grounded in Akure Airport, Ondo State, following the discovery of a crater dug on the runway of the airport.

This came as ten suspected looters in Ondo State have been arrested by police detectives, who used the EndSARS protest to break into people’s shops and offices.

This came as the Executive Secretary of the Osun Health Insurance Scheme, OHIS, Dr. Samuel Oginni, yesterday, disclosed that hoodlums looted and vandalised N120million worth of drugs and equipment belonging to the agency.

Similarly, the Ekiti State government, yesterday, hinted that the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, set up to investigate cases of police brutalities and rights abuses in the state, would commence sitting on November 2, 2020.

Hoodlums dig crater on runway

The crater was allegedly dug on the runway by some suspected hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest in the state.

Officials of the Airport Authority reportedly discovered the crater in the night and alerted the management who thereafter halted flight operations.

Management of the airport was forced to shut the airports thereby preventing flight from either taking off or landing in the airport.

Vanguard gathered that the sudden development in the airport made travelling by air through the Akure Airports impossible.

An airport source told newsmen that: “The hole was discovered during the early Monday check by the security of the airport.

“We are yet to know those behind it. I think the intention of the miscreants was to cause plane crash in the airport.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Bayelsa sets up judicial panel of inquiry

“The security operatives have been invited to see the place. The government has to deploy the security agents to the airport so as not to allow the miscreants cause havoc there.”

When contacted, spokesperson of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, said that the cracks were discovered on the runway during the routine checks on Monday morning.

Ondo Police arrest 10 for looting, vandalism

The Ondo Police spokesperson, Mr. Tee Leo Ikoro, who spoke in Akure, pointed out that the search for other looters was still ongoing across the state.

It was gathered that a house to house search was conducted to recover looted goods from the hoodlums who went on a rampage during the protest.

Ikoro stated that those arrested were not ENDSARS protesters but looters.

He said: “The operation is still on to arrest other fleeing shop looters.”

Hoodlums loot drugs, equipment worth N120m

But addressing a Press Conference after assessing the extent of damage perpetrated at the agency by hoodlums during a raid of its headquarters in Osogbo on Saturday.

Oginni said: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the vandalisation of offices and carting away of electronics, ICT equipment, office furniture and medicines by hoodlums who attacked our agency on Saturday 24th October 2020. On the said day, rampaging hoodlums besieged the agency’s head office and OHIS Drug Distribution Centre (OHIS DDC) that share the same compound with the state central medical store which housed the mosquito nets currently being distributed across the state by the state malaria programme.

“The hoodlums, who were said to have observed that many heavy-duty and luxurious vehicles, were moving in and out of the complex on Friday 23rd, October 2020 suspected that the warehouse must contain some COVID 19 palliatives and decided to storm the complex with all manner of weapons and tools on the said day.”

Ekiti Judicial Panel of Inquiry to commence sitting Nov 2

On its part, the Ekiti State government said that the Judicial Panel of Inquiry would commence sitting on November 2, 2020.

The State government had last week constituted a 10-man judicial panel of inquiry led by a retired Judge of the Ekiti State Judiciary, Justice Cornelius Akintayo, to probe cases of police brutalities and right abuses in the state by men of the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS.

In his remarks, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, said: “The process of submission of petitions had been liberalised and can be submitted through broad-based government offices and avenues with letter carrying no strict format, it is just a complaint letter.

“The sittings of the Panel will be at the Fountain Hotel, Ado-Ekiti. The first public sitting of the panel will be held on November 2, 2020. The sittings will be open to the public as far as possible. Except in such instances where there is a need to protect the identities of victims or witnesses.”

Awori decries destruction of public facilities

Meanwhile, President of Awori Welfare Association of Nigeria, AWAN, and former Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Mohammed Olagbaye, yesterday, condemned the wanton destruction of public facilities in Lagos State by #EndSARS protesters.

He also denounced the attack on the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, by looters, describing the invasion of the palace as a desecration and an affront on Yoruba cultural values and heritage.

Olagbaye said: “These gangs have razed monuments, institutions, police stations and wreaked immeasurable havoc. We disapprove of these in its entirety.

“The Awori, as the original largest landowners of Lagos State and parts of Ogun State and as part of Yoruba, are known for their tolerance and democratic credentials.

“We completely agree with all the demands of the protesters but will like to appeal for peace to reign whilst we await federal and state governments to unmask the perpetrators of these dastardly acts, including the shooting, with appropriate sanctions and address the demand of the protesters as promised, in a transparent manner to give credibility to government actions, for better future for our children.

“Whilst, we reiterate the fact that no compensation is enough to restore the loss of anyone, governments should heal our land and console the families of the victims adequately.”


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