OPC members have been transferred to Force Headquarters, Abuja, allegedly on the orders of a top presidential aide.
The OPC members were part of a joint security team that apprehended an alleged notorious Fulani herder, Abdullah Wakilu, at Ayete in Oyo State.
Wakilu has been variously accused by indigenes of Ibarapa area of masterminding kidnappings and killings of innocent people in the area.
They were said to have been rounded up by Oyo State Police Command.
But a source told Vanguard that the OPC members involved in the arrest were first transferred from Oyo Police Command to Force CID in Alagbon, Lagos, from where they were taken to Abuja.
The source, who was privy to Wakili’s arrest, said a top presidential aide had warned some traditional rulers in Ayete and Ibarapaland not to touch Wakilu.
Wakili declared untouchable —Source
The source said: “I told the OPC guys not to arrest Wakilu because the Oba of Ayete told me that there is a presidential order on Wakili and that he should not be touched.
“When the team that went to arrest Wakili got there, I was called and I told them that members of our group should back down from the operation and that those going there to apprehend Wakilu would be arrested.
“Oba Ayete said a top presidential aide called him and warned him that nothing must happen to Wakilu. All the steps taken by the OPC guys and the team were already known by the Presidency. All the OPC guys arrested are on their way to Abuja. Wakili has foot soldiers doing the work for him.
“If you observed well, Wakilu pretended that he was not well. They burnt the man’s house but the police are now claiming that they burnt Wakili’s wife in it. That is the case the police will use against the OPC boys.
“It was a trap set for the OPC boys and they will be jailed for it. Wakilu was used as bait for a trap. I was reliably informed that they have been moved from Eleyele and they are currently at Force CID at Alagbon in Lagos.
“From there, they have been taken to Abuja. Sunday Igboho would have also been arrested but he withdrew at the last minute.”
The arrest of the OPC members came as Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, vowed to prevent a miscarriage of justice on the recent arrests of some OPC members.
Similarly, the arrest also elicited angry reactions from the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba, Iba Gani Adams; the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere; Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the Agbekoya Farmers’ Association, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF; the Middle Belt Forum, MBF and the Mzough U Tiv Worldwide.
We won’t condone miscarriage of justice — Makinde
Meanwhile, Governor Makinde in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, urged residents of the state to remain calm and refrain from ethnic profiling.
He also urged the people to have trust in government, as it will continue to work in the interest of the people of the state, to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice.
The statement read: “Let me also talk about the issue of security, which is also germane. I am aware of what is going on at Kajola in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State.
“I will like to use this opportunity to tell our people that the government is doing everything within its powers to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice. Anyone that is found wanting or has broken the law, irrespective of their ethnic background or religion, would be dealt with by the law of the land.
“People should not go into overdrive. I have asked the Commissioner of Police to see me today (yesterday) and I have been given the assurance that they will do a thorough investigation into the security situation in the area.
“I also want to appeal to our people to be calm and refrain from ethnic profiling. Let us have trust in the ability and capacity of the people saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order within our state.
“It is the government that we have put in place and it will continue to work in the interest of the people of the state.”
Wakili still with us — Oyo CP
However, Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Ngozi Onadeko, Monday, insisted that the arrested suspected Fulani warlord, Iskilu Wakili is still in police custody at the state Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
While speaking with journalists at the headquarters of the state Police command in Eleyele, Onadeko said any residents with proven evidence of atrocities against the suspects should come forward for proper investigation.
The commissioner of police also disclosed that some members of the OPC are also being interrogated by the command.
Speaking with journalists, the suspect, Wakili said he was away to Cotonou about a week ago and retuned about same day, adding that his house was attacked by some members of the OPC who took him to Ayete Police station.
Wakili, however, denied all allegations leveled against him, adding that two of his children had been kidnapped on two occasions during which he paid ransom.
In another development, Onadeko said the seven suspects arrested in connection with the recent mayhem at Shasha market, were handed over to the police for prosecution by officers of the Nigerian army.
Onadeko confirmed that the suspects have been charged to court, adding that residents should desist from ethnic profiling of crimes in the state.