By Ifeanyi Okolie
LAGOS— The police in Lagos, yesterday, said they have arrested a 28-year-old member of a robbery gang, Nonso Egbuzobi, that killed three policemen while attempting to break into an Automated Teller Machine, ATM, of a second generation bank in Ayobo area of the state in November.
Vanguard gathered that two members of the gang were also killed during an earlier encounter with operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, at Ilasamaja area of the state.
Four AK-47 rifles, with serial numbers 403647, 132969, 5008685, 20640 and 24 AK-47 magazines, all loaded, were recovered from the killed suspects.
Sources disclosed that the AK-47 rifles belong to policemen killed during the Ayobo and Igando Police encounters with the bandits.
Two of the rifles were said to be those of late ASP Longinus Amuzie and one of his colleagues attached to Ayobo police station who were killed while responding to a distress call at the bank, while one was snatched from a policeman killed while on guard at a a hotel in Igando area of state.
The bandits, however, met their waterloo when they attempted to rob a man of N10 million at Ilasamaja area of Lagos.
SARS operatives led by SP Abba Kyari, were said to have gotten a tip-off and engaged them in a shoot-out, killing Daniel Onuoha, and Eyo Bassey, with an army identity card, while Nonso Egbuzobi was arrested alive.
The Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, who paraded the suspect, yesterday said he received information on the robbery and ordered his men to foil it by all means.
Manko added that investigations by SARS operatives led them to a house agent who helped the robbers secure accommodation and when their house was searched, the four AK-47 rifles, which belonged to slain policemen, were recovered while the agent was also killed while attempting to escape.
He said a police walkie-talkie with which the robbers monitored police movement was recovered.
When Vanguard interviewed captured Egbuzobi, he said he only followed the gang to one operation.
According to him, “some weeks ago, I was at a snooker joint around LagosStateUniversity when a man approached me, saying he had a target that we could rob at Ilasamaja. I told him I was not a robber but I knew people who were capable.
“I approached one robber known as Fine Money and I connected him with the person that gave me information.
“On December 4, 2013, Fine Money picked me up in a SUV around Mile 2 and I led him and two other guys to the house at Ilasamaja and we were told that the victim had N10 million in his house.
“They all had guns but I decided that I would only remain in the car. However, before they could come down, policemen started shooting at us and everyone in the vehicle died except me because I hid on the floor of the car.
“Like I said, this was my first time and I did not rob, I only gave the robbers information that they needed. I am a responsible man and even a footballer at LASU. It was poverty that pushed me in to it.”