The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), through the Ministerial Task Force on City Sanitation, has arrested 49 miscreants during a demolition exercise in Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja.
The miscreants were arrested Thursday during the continuation of the ongoing demolition exercise at Yan Kasuwa on 6th Avenue, Gwarinpa.
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The task team’s Chairman, Ikharo Attah, who led the operation, said the 49 suspected criminals stopped passersby and dispossessed them of their belongings after the joint team had finished its operation.
Mr Ikharo explained that, “Most of the criminals took advantage of the cleanup exercise and went on a looting spree; dispossessing passersby of their belongings.
“This shows why we are demolishing illegal structures. There are illegal structures and shanties almost everywhere in Gwarinpa Estate; these are criminal hideouts which we will not allow to stay.”
Mr Attah regretted the increasing shanties in the FCT and warned that the present administration of the FCTA under Malam Muhammad Bello would not allow illegality to become the order of the day.
The suspects were taken to the Efab Police Station, Galadimawa, under Gwarinpa Estate, for interrogation.
However, a trader at the market, Muhammad Ammar, said, “As soon as they arrived, they started shooting sporadically and even targeted crowds. They then tear-gassed the gathering and pounced on us; beating everybody with sticks. They also closed the roads leading to the market.
“Even people who were shooting videos with their mobile phones had their devices smashed and they were also beaten up.”
Attah denied the accusation of beating up people but said security drew teargas to disperse the looting mob.