Operatives of Ondo state security outfit codenamed Amotekun have arrested 18 suspects with dangerous weapons concealed in bags of tiger nuts and under the seats of three buses, Vanguard Newspaper reports.
The dangerous weapons intercepted include guns, 500 pieces daggers and different sizes of knives that were secretly concealed in bags filled with tiger nuts.
Their arrest is coming few days after soldiers withdrew from checkpoints and inter-state boundaries across the state.
It was gathered that the suspects were chased by the personnel of Amotekun and apprehended in Ondo town.
They reportedly took off from Katsina State in three 18-seater passenger buses before arriving the state on Thursday.
Parading the suspects in Akure, the state Commander of Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye said: “Two of the three buses, which stormed the state, escaped.”
“The suspects had escaped from various checkpoints after entering the state before their eventual arrest in Ondo town.”
“Report as regard the movement of the bandits before entering the state aided the operation.”
“We got intel that a group of men are coming to invade the state, so we set out our monitoring devices.
“And precisely at about 1:30a.m. on Thursday, we saw three hummer buses that we had actually been trailing till they entered the state.”
“They had a brief stop just before they entered the town and our men tried to stop them.
“The three buses sped off. So we had to radio all our control points and we were able to bring the three buses to a stop at a point on Ondo road.”
“It was a combined team of police and the Civil Defence.”
“The buses attempted to over run the security agents and speed off.”
“In fact, the speed with which they took off was so much that they hit all the barricades on the road.”
“We found out that it was difficult pursuing them and decided that we don’t want to cause any accident.”
“So we radioed our station in Owena. They then blocked the road for all vehicles.”
“On getting there, they were able to escape by hitting the barricades again.”
“We continued in pursuit, while we called the Ile-Oluji junction that they should block the road solidly. But the bandits also escaped them.”
“After that, we now had a solid blockage before the Akure garage in Ondo town and we were able to apprehend them.”
“They claimed that they were coming to Akure and the driver said somebody commissioned them from Katsina State, but that he doesn’t know the content of the bag filled with tiger nuts.”
“On opening the bags, we found some guns, rounds of ammunition.”
“And under the seats found about 500 different types and sizes of dagger and poisonous jack knives, cleverly concealed.”
“When we asked them what they intended to do with the weapons, they told us that they were just given instructions to go and that further instructions will be given to them.”
Adeleye promised that the two other buses that escaped would be intercepted, while the suspects would be charged to court as soon investigations were concluded.