Soldiers attached to the 174, 243 and 65 battalions and operating under the “Operation Crocodile Smile 11,” have arrested no fewer than 50 suspected criminals in Ikorodu, Badagry and Lekki areas of Lagos State.
The suspects, Daily Sun learn, were arrested in hideouts and notorious drug dens in the areas, after a raid by soldiers.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, the suspects were handed over to the police and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Daudu said in statement: “On Sunday, October 15, 2017, the Commander, Sector 3 of Exercise Crocodile Smile 11, Lt Col BC Eze, handed over 36 suspects arrested by troops of the sector during a raid at criminal hideouts and notorious drug dens in Ikorodu general area. The handover was carried out at Odogunyan barracks in Ikorodu. The suspects were received by the Area Commander, Nigeria Police, Ijede-Ikorodu.
“Also same day, 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 11 on the activities of suspected cultists, troops responded immediately and arrested four suspected cultists.
“Similarly, as a follow up to suspected cultists attack, two suspects were arrested in connection with earlier attack on 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.”
Colonel Daudu said similar raids and clearance operations were also initiated on October 14, 2017, by troops of 65 Battalion, Sector 1 of Exercise Crocodile Smile 11 at Ajah general area, where nine suspects were arrested with bags containing Indian hemp.
Two of the suspects, he explained, were alleged to have snatched a female purse containing Samsung Galaxy and Itel phones, a Bible, house keys and N1, 200 only, adding that the items were also recovered.
“Another raid operation was also carried out by troops of 9 Brigade Garrison, Sector 4 at Ipodo, Ikeja general area. Five suspected fraudsters were arrested and items recovered include four generators, four laptops, scanning machine, colour printer, three stabilisers, 10 UPSs, three car chargers and 16 handset stands. The suspects and exhibits were handed over to Lagos State Special Task force, in Oshodi, he revealed.
“In a related development, on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 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 registration no. FST 762 CV along Ikorodu-Sagamu road. The suspect, while fleeing with the stolen vehicle, rammed into other vehicles and pedestrians and was arrested by soldiers. The suspect and the recovered vehicle have been handed over to Owutu Divisional police Headquarters,” he said.
Daudu also revealed that on October 14, 2017, following a tip off, troops of Sector 5, 243 Battalion, at Agbara area of Lagos State, in conjunction with men of NDLEA, carried out a raid at Oto-Awori and apprehended five drug peddlers with gallons of unidentified chemical substances and Indian hemp. “Arrested suspects and items have been handed over to the NDLEA for further investigation,” he said.
While assuring the public that soldiers were poised to maintain peace and security in Lagos and Ogun states, Colonel Daudu called for cooperation with security agencies.