The Lagos State Police Command has released the 123 Northerners who were intercepted in a truck with 48 motorcycles by the State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offenses Task force, Daily Trust is reporting.
The men were coming from Jigawa when they were rounded up by the Task Force amidst tension and anxiety in the state.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Ikhana, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said after profiling of the men, nothing incriminating was found on them.
He said the suspicion and subsequent interception of the truck arose from the manner they came in, in large number sardined in a truck, adding that most of them were living in Lagos and went homes for the Eid-l-kabir celebration.
The PPRO spoke just as the Chairman of the Task force, Mr. Yinka Egbeyemi, said the interception on Friday was a proactive step to protect the state against any external attack.
The Task Force had said the men were arrested following a tip off by members of the public, who allegedly raised security concern about the manner with which the occupants of the truck conducted themselves.
After the interception, the truck and its occupants were moved to the office of the Task force in Oshodi for interrogation before they were later moved to the police command on the order of the Commissioner of Police.
Egbeyemi had said that they acted swiftly on the tip off.
He said: “While my team was on operation, we got information from the public that some people had entered into Lagos in trailer loaded with over 300 people. We swiftly responded to the alert and trailed the truck from Berger area to Agege. We eventually intercepted the truck which carried no few than 123 men and 48 motorcycles.
“We have interrogated most of the truck’s occupants; from the information we gathered, some of them said they were coming from Jigawa State, with 48 of them claiming to own seized motorcycles. The rest of them said they came to Lagos in search of greener pasture.”
Egbeyemi said the Lagos Police Command had directed that a fact-finding panel be constituted to profile the detained occupants of the truck, but he added that nothing incriminating was found on them apart from the motorcycles.
One of the detained occupants, Shuaibu Haruna, said he left Jigawa state to work in Lagos with his motorcycle.
He claimed to have a wife and a son, but said he needed to double his income to cater for his family.
Haruna said he intended to stay in Isolo area and had already paid N7,000 as accommodation fee.
Another occupant, Mohammed Ibrahim, said he left his base in the Northern part of the country to keep himself busy after finishing his farm work. He said he was going to Badagry to join his brother.