No fewer than 17 persons from the northern part of Nigeria are currently being interrogated by the Ondo State Security Network Agency, known as Amotekun Corps, reportedly with over 30 dogs, cutlasses and charms.
They were said to have been arrested after they stormed Okititpupa town, the headquarters of Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state, and could not explain their mission to residents who were alarmed.
Amotekun officials in the South-West states had on Thursday said the regional outfit was on the alert following renewed attacks by killer herdsmen and terrorists in Ondo State.
The officials in Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti states, who spoke separately with The PUNCH said they had got credible intelligence that terrorists fleeing military operations in the North-West would seek refuge in the forests of the southern states.
They therefore said they had started combing forests in the region for the fleeing terrorists.
Although the corps had yet to link those arrested at Okitipupa to a particular crime, residents panicked over their suspicious movement within the town on Thursday and alerted the personnel who arrested them.
The Commander of Amotekun in the state, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye, was quoted by Daily Post that the northerners stated that an unnamed person invited them to the state.
He said, “They were people who claimed to have come from the northern part of the country with dogs, charms and cutlasses and the people of Okitipupa area who were not comfortable with them raised the alarm.
But on interrogation, they claimed they were invited to Okutupupa by somebody and that they are actually working for the person. All attempts to reach the person they claimed to work for have not yielded any result till date.
“However, we want to warn residents to be vigilant when they see what I will call mysterious things. We have over 30 dogs among able bodied men who don’t even know where they are going. They claimed they were dropped in Okitipupa by a vehicle and that the vehicle had left.
“This calls for a very serious concern looking at the very serious security situation in the country. Investigation into who brought them and their real mission is still ongoing. They were attempting to enter the forest behind the military barracks in Okitipupa when they were arrested.”
Attempts to get an update on the case from Adeleye proved abortive as several calls to his line on Friday rang out. He had also yet to reply to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.