Logging Kingpin and two others have been arrested at Okomu National Park in Edo State.
A statement issued on Sunday by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Nigeria National Park (NNP), Conservator of Park (CP), Emmanuel Ntuyang, said: “Following the reinforced intensive anti-poaching patrol activities in Okomu National Park in Edo, a logging kingpin, Kehinde Hassan, alias Alfa and two others, Adeoye Tajudeen and Uba Okechukwu, have been arrested in the Park.
“The loggers were arrested during routine anti-poaching patrol activities in the Julius Creek Range in the Western axis of the Park.
“Parading the suspects at the Park Head Office in Edo, the Conservator of the Park, Lawrence Osaze, assured that the efforts to rid the Park of all forms of illegal activities would be sustained through the vigilance, doggedness and dedication of Park Rangers,” Ntuyang noted.
According to the PRO, Osaze says the Park management has zero tolerance on any form of encroachment.
“Speaking recently in Abuja, the Conservator-General, Dr Ibrahim Goni, called for public support in the fight against illegal poaching in the National Parks and trafficking of endangered species.
“He reiterated the commitment of the Service to protect the country’s forest estate and build a climate resilient environment across the National Parks and the country at large, as this has become existential.
“The suspects who have been charged to Iquobazua Magistrate Court with conspiracy for illegal entry, logging and altering the vegetation of the Park, in line with the NPS enabling law, have since been remanded in the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Benin City,” Ntuyang said.
“Items recovered from the suspects include two lorry loads of timber. nan.”