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80 arrested in Cross River as hoodlums sack 1,000 Bakassi returnees

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The police have arrested no fewer than 80 people in Cross River State over alleged looting and vandalisation of government and private property.

In a telephone interview with reporters in Calabar, yesterday, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Abdulkadir Jimoh, said the suspects invaded homes and offices, including that of a National Assembly member, carting away tricycles and other items.

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According to him, they also stole the stage and sound equipment at the Calabar International Conference Centre (CICC).

According to Jimoh, the force recovered four new tricycles, water heaters, bathtubs, air conditioners, chairs, and other items stolen from the campaign office of the representative of Calabar Municipal\Odukpani in the House of Representatives, Ntufam Mbora.

He said: “We have arrested over 80 suspects and they are undergoing interrogations. Looters have 24 hours to return the items they carted away before the house-to-house search gets to them. Community leaders, youth groups and religious leaders should expose the looters and shame them. We are working with other sister agencies to fish out the bad eggs as well as recover looted items.”
Meanwhile, Governor Ben Ayade has promised N100, 000 reward for information on looted property.

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Ayade made the promise yesterday in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita.

Also, miscreants masquerading as #EndSARS protests destroyed the homes of over 1, 000 Bakassi returnees, including an 80-year-old woman, resettled recently by the state government.

The state government built the 52 housing units and handed them over to the returnees, who were squatters at African Nations School in Akpa Nkanya and Government Secondary School as well as St. Marks Primary School, Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem, Akpabuyo council, for over 18 years.

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Leader of the returnees, Chief Etim Ene, claimed in a telephone interview with The Guardian yesterday that people from Ifianayong community “vandalised the houses and removed everything”.

He also said their farm produce were destroyed and their money stolen, with the gangsters leaving over 100 families (consisting of 1,000 people) homeless.

According to him, the hoodlums destroyed the police station in the area.

Ita, who confirmed the attack and sacking of the Bakassi returnees, said the state government was making efforts to secure lives and p[roperty in the area.

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