Plateau Security Council meets as court sentences looter of COVID-19 palliatives
The Plateau State Security Council (PSSC) met again yesterday to discuss the security situation following the massive looting across the state in the last two days.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting at Government House, Rayfield, Jos, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Danladi Atu, said calm has returned to the state, but that it was still fluid as hoodlums were still threatening to attack other property and individuals.
He said the council agreed to further fortify all checkpoints in Jos South and Jos North council areas to give effect to the curfew imposed on the state to restore peace, saying the move would determine the government’s next line of action.
Atu also said that security agencies have been mandated to embark on a massive manhunt for the arrest of looters and ensure materials are recovered while the culprits are prosecuted.
He said so far, seven courts have been designated for the prosecution of 307 suspects who were arrested at various locations where looting took place.
Consequently, an accused person, who pleaded guilty to looting, was sentenced to three months imprisonment or a fine of N20, 000 after the defence counsel argued that the rule of law must be upheld.
However, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), expressed concern that hoodlums hijacked the #EndSARS protests and appealed to parents, religious, political, and community leaders to educate and sensitise their children and the youths on the need to eschew violence.
The PSSC cautioned members of the public against consuming some of the looted food items, because they were dangerous for human consumption, as they had been chemically treated for preservation.
Members of the public were further advised to beware of these dangers and not to patronise looted items.
The council also commended security agencies for their efforts so far and charged them to continue to work in restoring and maintaining peace in the state, while promising to consider their challenges with a view to addressing them to achieve efficiency.
Government stressed that COVID-19 palliatives were not hoarded anywhere in the state, as the looted items were delivered by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development just before the #EndSARS protests began, which made it difficult for distribution to commence before the looting and destruction of warehouses.