By Evelyn Usman
…As two policemen, two robbers die in gun duel
The Police in Lagos have arrested eight suspected members of separate bank robbery gangs that raided two new generation banks recently, where the sum of N8 Million was carted away in one of the operations. Surprisingly, two of the suspects were discovered to be drivers attached to both banks. They confessed during interrogation to have given the robbers information on how and when to storm the banks.
Also arrested by the command,was a total of 130 suspected members of a notorious robbery gang known as one ‘Million boys’ that have been terrorising residents of Ajegunle area of Lagos.
Parading the bank suspects among whom were final year, a 400 student of the Olabisi Onobanjo University, Ogun state, an NCE student of Tai Solarin University of Education and a Muslim Cleric, yesterday, at the command’s headquarters, Ikeja, the command’s boss, Mr Umar Manko said drivers of the banks who he identified as Taiwo Aremu and Rasheed Anifowose, were arrested by policemen from the Area ‘D’ command, Mushin.
“ They made confessional statements which led to the arrest of eight others and the recovery of one locally made pistol with one live cartridge and the case was subsequently transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja for further investigation on October 2, 2012.
“The suspects were interrogated and they further confessed that their armourer and gang leader , Adedokun Yusuf and Ahmed Adelakun were in Aiyetoro. Consequently, they led SARS operatives to Aiyetoro in Ogun state, where the duo were arrested and two locally made pistols with four live cartridges recovered.
“The suspects who normally operate with the collaboration of insiders , confessed to have robbed the Mushin branchof a second , Matori branch , on may 25, 2012,where they carted away N8 Million and another in , Isolo on August 29 2012.. Investigation is still on”, Manko stated.
The 27 year-old driver attached to one of the banks, Aremu Taiwo , admitted to have given the robbers that stormed his bank information on how to get in, saying he got the sum of N300,000 at the end of the operation.
According to Taiwo, a father of two from Ogun state, “ I told them to come on Friday, that the back door of the bank was usually opened at about 5.30pm. I met one of the gang members, Muri around my place at Aiyetoro. He is a panel beater.
When my boss was looking for a panel beater, I recommended him and after the job, he sold the idea to me . They came on that day and collected the money they met in a room . By then, I had gone to home, so that I would not be linked or even killed. . At the end of the day, I was given the sum of N300.000”
On his part, driver of the second bank(names withheld) Rasheed, alleged that he was hypnotized by a Muslim cleric, Muftau Eleduwe. According to him., “ I had gone to his place for spiritual help for my mother’s health and other family problems . But along the line, he asked where I was working and when I told him, he said he would get me people who would rob the bank and at the end of the day, give me money, an offer I refused. He later called me to bring my photograph for him to pray on it and I did.
The thing was that I found myself acting in obedience to his command. He brought the people and I told them to come to the bank by 5.30pm because by then, the policemen attached there would have gone. I was given N100,000 at the end of the day. But the second operation was not successful because two of the suspects were arrested and they mentioned my name.
But in a sharp reaction, the Muslim Cleric also arrested , denied hypnotizing Rasheed. However along the line, he was linked to both gangs as their spiritual back-up. In his confession, he admitted both drivers usually came for prayers.
Hear him, “ I am not a robber. They only came to me to pray for the success of the works of their hands . After the first bank robbery which was successful, they gave me the sum of N307,000”
The 400-level student of Cooperative and Business Management from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun state, Adedokun Yusuf, in whose apartment the weapons used for the robbery operation were found, said he was not a member of the gang.
According to him, “ I belong to Aiye Confraternity. And I am the armourer. One of the gang members, Azees told me to give him two guns . I initially refused but being a member of same cult I gave him and he gave me N180,000 . I did not know he used it to go to rob”
Two policemen, two robbers die in gun duel
Meanwhile, a 12-man robbery gang in the early hours of yesterday morning, laid ambush for a team of policemen on patrol at new Oko-Oba area of Lagos, killing two of the policemen in the process. The deceased, an Assistant Superintendent of Police and an Inspector, reportedly displayed rear bravery even at the point of death as they reportedly made effort to engage the robbers in a shoot-out,thereby killing two of the robbers.
There were different accounts on how the policemen attached to new Oko-Oba division were killed. A version of the account had it that the patrol team was on its way to respond to a distress call when the bandits who were in three different vehicles, opened fire at Paying Junction near Olaniyi street.
Another version said the policemen numbering four were on night patrol when they sighted the vehicles; a Hilux pick-up and two Toyota Sienna cars which they mistook for that of their Area Commander. The account said they parked as a mark of honour for their presumed boss, only to be greeted by sporadic shots which jolted them. Time was 2am.
The ASP and Inspector said to have taken cover behind the patrol van, returned fire. But the robbers as gathered gathered, aimed at the policemen legs, causing the ASP identified simply as Niyi to fall down, from where they riddled his body with bullets. The Inspector was also gunned down while the rest, a Sergeant and Corporal managed to escape the scene.
Vanguard gathered that a reinforcement from the division arrived the scene. But by then, the robbers had fled, leaving the dead policemen and robbers in the pool of their blood.
Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide said two locally made pistols and live cartidges were recovered from the dead robbers, adding that their bodies had been deposited at the mortuary.