Following the recovery of some of the items carted away during the orgy of vandalisation and looting of private and public properties across the State, within the 72-hour amnesty period given by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, the government of the State of Osun has commenced the return of recovered properties to both individual and institutional owners.
It will be recalled that the State government, through its adhoc Loot Recovery Committee, had announced on Tuesday, that it had recovered a sizeable volume of the items carted away, while efforts were on to recover more.
The Secretary of the Adhoc Loot Recovery Committee, Mr Samson Owoyokun, speaking during the return of recovered properties to claimants, said the government has decided to immediately commence the return exercise in order to help devastated businesses and agencies revive their operations in good time.
Owoyokun, commenting on the methodology for dispatch, said: “From the time our Adhoc Committee was set up, we created a form with which we did an enumeration of the losses across the State.
“We asked victims of the looting to itemise their losses and provide sufficient evidence to validate their ownership of the properties. These things helped us in properly profiling the recovered items”, Owoyokun said.
Owoyokun added that the Committee was working with the Amotekun Corps, the State’s Joint Task Force and the Police Formation, to commence the house-to-house search for other looted properties yet to be recovered.
He continued: “We have intelligence report and video coverage of places where commercial items were hidden. We expected that the people behind all the looters to take advantage of the government’s call, but the amnesty offer is over now and we have commenced the search operations. The intelligence report will guide us and we will recover more looted properties.
“Security agencies are also on patrol across the state, especially the 14 local government areas that were adversely affected by the looting , to pick up items that were indiscriminately dumped off by road sides”, Owoyokun added.
Recipients Commend Gov Oyetola’s Recovery Efforts
Speaking at the reception of properties, the Executive Secretary of the Osun Health Insurance Agency, Dr Adeniyi Oginni, commended Governor Oyetola for the recovery efforts, adding that his directive to looters was very instrumental to the volume of recovery the state recorded within the 72-hour window.
He added: “Our agency has been able to recover a sizeable number of items carted away, although some were vandalised in the process of forceful removal and evacuation.
“We got some of our electronic appliances and furniture back. We also recovered our inverter, although the batteries were not returned. Our server and computers, laptops and desktops are yet to be returned. However, we are grateful for what has been recovered so far, and we are hopeful that other properties will be recovered through the sustained efforts of the government.
“We want to continue to contribute to healthy living in the State, and the recovery of our lost properties are instrumental to this”, Oginni stated.
Bisi Babalola, the Senior Legislative Aide to Senator Ajibola Bashiru (representing Osun Central), while receiving the properties carted away from the residence of his principal, lauded Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for the effort, which he described as very effective.
“If not for his efforts and the enforcement of the security agents, it would have been very difficult to recover the properties we are seeing around us today. For my principal, not all has been recovered but I can confirm that we have a huge percentage”, Babalola said.
Kolade Ademola, the Operations Manager of Omoluabi Garment Factory, while receiving the recovered items belonging to his organisation, said: “I’m impressed with what has happened in the last few days. For us, we have recovered more than a quarter of our items. This gives us hope that we will recover so much more.
“We thank Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for what he did. During his tour of some of tge vandalised areas around the state after the sad event , he came to our factory to assess the extent of the damage and loss. This for us is commendable, but he took things further than mere sympathy by helping us recover our items”, Ademola said.
We Are Returning All Recovered Properties – Egbemode
In her remark, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, said the State Government would ensure that it returned all recovered looted materials to their owners.
While responding to questions about the possibilities of returning all items, Egbemode said:
“The Loot Recovery Committee has worked out modalities for methodical return of properties, especially the unbranded ones. So, illegal claimants are advised to keep off to avoid being arrested.
“The security agencies are not relenting despite the expiration of the 72-hour amnesty. The window for amnesty is closed now and law enforcement agents are starting house-to-house search and those apprehended will face the maximum weight of the law”, Egbemode added.