The Anambra state government Joint Taskforce (JTF) on security has arrested 35 suspects engaging in various crimes and criminalities in the state.
The Public Relations Officer of Ocha Brigade, Mr Anthony Agbafune, said in a statement on Saturday that the suspects were arrested at different locations by the JTF led Operation Clean and Health Anambra (Ocha Brigade) in collaboration with the Anambra Vigilante Group AVG.
He said that the suspects were arrested in connection with drug peddling, Indian hemp smoking, extortion of money from motorists, pickpocketing among others.
He said that the agency was determined to keep the state healthy and clean for the residents.
He described those arrested as people terrorising the state and environment.
He said they were involved in robbing innocent citizens, selling hard drugs, (mkpurumiri) to youths, stealing and extorting money from the motorists.
He said the governor had given them a mandate to rid the state of the bad eggs polluting the environment.
“We have the mandate of the governor to sanitise the state and make it habitable,” he said.
Agbafune also said that the suspects will be transferred to the appropriate authorities for arraignment.
“We will soon move those suspects involved in drugs to National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency( NDELA), Police and the Ministry of Justice for necessary actions.
“Our job is to pick the defaulters, document them and move them to the appropriate agency for necessary action” he added.
He said the agency was determined and committed to eradicating the state of criminality in line with the governor’s dream of a clean and healthy Anambra state.
According to him, the Managing Director of Ocha brigade, Mr Celestine Annere is committed to keeping the mandate of the agency.
He said that in the one year he has been piloting the affairs of the agency, a lot of positive things have happened in terms of clearing the state of bad eggs.
One of the suspects, Mr Mike Agara from Taraba state said he smokes indian hemp but does not sell them.
According to him, the Indian hemp found in his room did not belong to him, but to his brother who sells them.
Ikene Eze, from Enugu state, admitted that he deals with mkpurumiri and others, noting that he gets his supply from Imo state.
According to him, he is involved in the drug business because he has no job and had to do it instead of becoming an armed robber.
He said he sells to big truck drivers because they use them when driving at night to avoid sleeping.
Chima Abigwe from Imo state, said he was arrested when he was sleeping in an open place because he did not have a home in Onitsha where he lives.
Chukwuemeka Chukwunoso from Anambra state, said he was arrested while walking to his house around 11 p.m because there were no vehicles at that time.
Onyekachi Atu, from Abia state, said he was picked up on the road while moving to his house at a late hour.
On whether he was the only person on the road when he was arrested he said, he was arrested because he was not doing anything there.
Chukwurah Micheal, from Anambra state, who admitted to engaging in stealing people’s money and property in vehicles appealed for forgiveness.
He said he was involved in the act because he had not been working.