Sacked Oyo park boss ‘escapes’ as police raid location, 78 arrested with weapons

Akinade Adepoju
Akinade Adepoju
Mukaila Lamidi, a.k.a Auxiliary

The police command in Oyo says it has arrested 78 members of the park management system (PMS) over a plot to create “widespread carnage and civil disturbance” in the state.

Adewale Osifeso, Oyo police spokesperson, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said the suspects were arrested following the dissolution of the PMS disciplinary committee which is headed by one Mukaila Lamidi popularly referred to as ‘Auxilary’.

Residents were thrown into panic on Tuesday following reports of attacks on motorists by suspected thugs said to be loyal to Lamidi.

Some intending inter-state travelers encountered difficulty accessing outbound vehicles as a result of disarray at major car parks in Ibadan. All major interstate car parks are said to currently be on lockdown.

Seyi Makinde, the state governor, had on Monday ordered the dissolution of the disciplinary committee shortly after his inauguration.

The police spokesperson, in his statement, said the suspects were behind an attack on members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) who were en route to Makinde’s second term inauguration ceremony.

He said the command, acting on intelligence, raided Lamidi’s location at Diamond Hotel, Alakia-Isebo, Egbeda LGA, and arrested the suspects after a gun battle.

He said Lamidi escaped with some of his men but the police “neutralised” others and recovered cash, arms, ammunition and charms.

“Seventy-Eight suspected hoodlums who had perfected plans to unleash mayhem at the early hours of today at Major parts of the Metropolis were arrested in possession of sophisticated firearms, (724) Seven Hundred and Twenty-four Cartridges and assorted charms, (33) thirty-three mobile phones, and a cash sum of about (#3,450,000) Three Million Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only,” the statement reads.

“In addition, during the raid sophisticated firearms were recovered inside the hotel rooms and in the trunk compartment of parked vehicles within the hotel.

“Worthy of note is that, though the PMS chieftain was able to escape with some of his boys during the gun duel with the police, However, a member of the group was neutralised in a gun duel with the police.”

Osifeso said for security reasons, residents shall witness “high-octane patrols, coordinated stop and search along designated points across the nook and cranny of the state”.

He urged residents to go about their activities without fear, assuring that security personnel have been deployed to maintain peace and order.

Police inspects seized ammunitions
Police inspects seized ammunitions

THE ‘AUXILIARY’ CONTROVERSY 

Makinde appointed Lamidi, a former state chairman of the National Union of Road Transport (NURTW), to head the disciplinary committee of the PMS in February 2020 after suspending NURTW activities in the state in 2019.

Lamidi’s appointment to head the committee, the highest decision-making arm of the PMS, was received with mixed reactions and reservations.

In 2014, Lamidi was paraded by the Lagos state police command for illegal possession of guns.

He was arrested by the Lagos command of the special anti-robbery squad at the Olodo area of Ibadan in May 2014 for his involvement in a crisis that led to the deaths of residents in the Iwo Road axis of Ibadan.

He was subsequently sentenced by the Oyo state high court to six years in prison alongside four others for conspiracy to murder in July 2016.

Lamidi was released in 2018 under controversial circumstances.

He was arrested and arraigned before a magistrate court in Ibadan in November 2022 for destroying billboards, posters and properties of the opposition parties in the state in the buildup to the governorship election.

Makinde had said in June 2021 that his administration would review the operations of the PMS in the state following a clash between transport workers that led to the death of two persons.

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