Azeem Owe, popularly known as Owenco in the Itire/Ikate area of Lagos, has said the police know members of the ‘One Million Boys’ terrorising the area but have refused to arrest them.
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Owenco’s younger brother, Junaid Owe, died last week of injuries sustained by machete attacks by the hoodlums. He was said to have died in the hospital he was rushed to.
In an interview with Saturday Punch, Owenco said the police in the area are familiar with the members of the deadly gang but have refused to do anything to stop them. He said even when they are arrested, they are set free the next day.
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He also revealed that he had contacted Hakeem Odumosu, the state Commissioner of Police; the Rapid Response Squad; and the state Security Trust Fund, but they all did nothing to help.
“We know them. We were able to identify them. We have informed the police but they did nothing about it. We even told the police the hideouts of the hoodlums, but they did nothing. I have even tried to contact the Lagos State Commissioner of Police (Hakeem Odumosu); and Commandant, Rapid Response Squad, but they did not do anything. I contacted the state Security Trust Fund, they did nothing,” he said.
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“If we called the police, they would be sounding their siren on their way here and that would make the bad boys to run away. It appears as if they do not want to apprehend the hoodlums. And if any of the hoodlums are caught and handed over to the police, the following day, they will release them and the same circle of criminality continues. In fact, I am short of words to use to describe the security that we have here,” he added.
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Asked if he meant the police had folded its arms in the fight against the hoodlums, he said: “Yes, they know them, most especially at Itire Police Station. They know all these bad boys. Police officers at Ijesha Police Station also know all these hoodlums. I am not talking about their Divisional Police Officers. You know, the DPOs are changed regularly but the police officers in those stations that have been there for so long; they know everything. Since they know everybody, this area is supposed to be crime-free but what we experience is the opposite of that.”
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Owenco said it was sad that justice could not be done to the killers of his brother. He said the situation was painful but the family has accepted its fate.