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Eighteen suspects arrested in connection with the disruption of the New Year crossover party organised by the Osun State Government were, on Tuesday, paraded before journalists by the state police command.

Parading the suspects alongside 23 others nabbed for other crimes, including armed robbery, possession of Indian hemp and kidnap for ransom, at the state command headquarters in Osogbo, the Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo, said they would soon be arraigned.

Kokumo said those arrested for disrupting the party acted in a way that was capable of disturbing the public peace, adding that the suspects caused civil disturbance at the Freedom Park venue of the event.

The CP stated, “While people were engaged in prayers and happily expecting the New Year to meet them and members of their families, these ones took the law into their own hands at the Freedom Park.

“They embarked on an act capable of disturbing the public peace. We have rounded them up and they will soon appear before the court. Eighteen of them were arrested.”

Also paraded were two men arrested for the abduction of one Alhaji Amodu in 2017.

The CP explained that sometime in 2017, one Alhaji Amodu was kidnapped in Osun State and taken to a hideout in Ekiti State, where the sum of N3m was collected before he was released.

He stated, “We employed intelligence and community-led policing and in the course of our investigation, we were able to trace the kidnap suspects and we effected their arrest.

“The victim was able to identify them as those who kidnapped him and took him to Ekiti State. The suspects are Bolaji Jimoh and Babatunde Usman. They are interstate kidnap suspects.”

Asked for the steps the command would take regarding calls for investigation of churches to curb ritual killings like the one involving a self-acclaimed pastor, Segun Philips, in Ikoyi-Ile, Kokumo said the command would embark on enumeration of churches.

He said through the enumeration, it would investigate new churches to ensure that those in obscured places would not be used to perpetrate crimes.

The CP said, “As part of proactive measures, we are embarking on the enumeration of such churches.

“We will be proactive in our activities to ensure that the churches, as we have them in various obscured places, bushes and the rest of them, are real churches and are not shrines or homes for ritual killings, because we will want to know their parent churches.

“You don’t just wake up one day and feel you can establish a church. We will look into who are the people attending such churches. The one in Ikoyi-Ile, no single human being from that town is a member of that church. The supposed prophet is using the place as a criminal hideout for ritual purposes.”

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