The National Council for Arts and Culture on Saturday said police in Abuja has arrested about 92 people and recovered a Berreta rifle and substance believed to be Indian hemp after raiding its permanent site, popularly known as Arts and Craft village.

In a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja, the council said the raid following intelligence reports of suspected criminal activities at the Art and Crafts Village, led to the arrests of the suspected criminals and recovery of contraband substance.

“The raid which was carried out at about 4am on 10th February by men attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Federal Capital Territory Command, became necessary to rid the site of criminal elements that have been terrorizing the FCT and using the permanent site of the NCAC as hideout” according to the statement.

“According to information from the SARS Division, the suspects are currently in custody awaiting further investigation and possible prosecution while assuring that upon completion of investigations, those found to be innocent will be set free in accordance with the law” it added.

The statement further noted that the  operation is part of efforts by the Nigeria police to constantly fight crime within and outside the FCT by reducing the spate of criminal activities going on in the FCT and the country by extension.

It further added that upon assuming office, Director-General of the council, Otunba Segun Runsewe upon assuming office last year, joined efforts with the police to sanitize the Arts and Crafts Village to “maximize the purpose for which it was established by the Federal Government”.

This comes hours after some traders had earlier gone to the press accusing the council of storming the Arts and Craft village with police in the early hours of Saturday to arrest its some of their members.

They said the police action was coming a day after an FCT high court issued an order restraining the council from taking any action against them or the village, pending its resolution over their petition lodge with the court.