BY IFEANYI OKOLIE & ONOZURE DANIA
LAGOS — Six members of a notorious robbery gang that has been terrorizing residents of Ajangbadi, Ilogbo and Ijanikin areas of Lagos State are currently cooling off in the dreaded cells of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja.
The suspects identified as Adewale Osoja, 21; Bala Yahaya, 28; Hasan Ado, 19; Ahmed Boladale, 20; Abiodun Olareaju 27 and Abbey Edward, 45, were said to have met their waterloo after they attacked worshippers at Christ Authority and Power Evangelical Ministry, CAPEM, Vespa, Ijanikin, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, during a crossover night vigil on December 31, 2013.
The bandits, who were armed with locally made double barrel guns, struck at a time when the faithful were exchanging pleasantries for seeing the New Year and dispossessed them of their valuables which include Ipads, Ipods, phones, jewellery, money and church offerings.
Vanguard gathered that the bandits also attacked residents of Morontola Street, Vespa Ijanikin the next day but they met stiff resistance from some residents who engaged them in a fight, forcing them to abandon one of their operational weapons before escaping.
How they were arrested
However, a member of the gang, Hassan Ado, went back to Morontola Street, the next day in search of his abandoned weapon. He inquired from some young boys he met in the area for help but they swiftly alerted the police who apprehended and transferred him to SARS.
It was also gathered that SARS operatives, led by SP Abba Kyari, interrogated the suspect and his confession led to the arrest of five other members of his gang.
Spokesperson of the Lagos State Police command, Ngozi Braide, who paraded the suspects, identified Adewale Osoja as the leader of the gang, adding that he was just released from prison.
Braide also said 45-year-old Abbey Edward from Benin Republic, supplied five double barrel locally made pistols he imported into Nigeria from his country to the gang. She said Edward sold each of the guns for N7,000 to Abiodun Olarewaju, who then sold at N20,000 each to the gang.
She said: “They all confessed to be members of Eiye Confraternity and we are responsible for most of the robberies at Ajangbadi, Ilogbo, Ijanikin and other places in area. We are also making efforts to arrest other members of the gang.”
We got N48,000 from the church
One of the suspects, who identified himself as Adewale Osoja told Vanguard that after they had robbed the Church on December 31, 2013 they also went to the house of one Mr. Sam who is a member of the church and robbed him of the offering that was collected in church.
He said what they got from the church was N48,000. He also stated that they all grew up as friends but started stealing immediately they were initiated into Eiye cult group.
Another member of the gang told Vanguard of how he got involved with the other suspects.
He said: “I live in Agbara, but I am a citizen of Benin Republic. The gang member nicknamed me “baba abey.” A member of OPC vigilante group discovered a place where we used to make locally made gun.”
He said the gang member approached him and told him to help the gang cross the gun into Nigeria, which he did. He also stated that the gang members bought the gun themselves and paid him only N7,000 to cross them.