By Evelyn Usman
It was the end of the road for some suspected members of a notorious robbery gang that have been terrorizing resident of Ijebu-Ode , Ilishan and Ikenna areas , following the arrest of four suspected members of the gang by men of the Ogun state police command.

The suspects who confessed to have maimed and dispossessed their victims of valuables  and cash , gave a startling revelation of how one of their members was killed in an operation within the area.

Their dead colleague, as gathered, was hurriedly buried at night in a public mortuary at Ikenne , Ijebu-Ode. Unknown to the suspects, their activities around the cemetery was suspected , following which the police were invited, where it was discovered that the dead robbery suspect was illegally buried.

The discovery, led to the arrest of  Mafee Alex Maxwell, Sunday John, Shoboyejo Ishahu and Akinsanya Olayinka. They are  currently guests of detectives at the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Eleweran, Abeokuta. Three other members of the gang whose names they gave as Tobi, Tunde and Sunday are still at large.

In this interview with Crime Guard, 32-year-old Mafee Alex Maxwell who admitted to have taken part in the robbery that led to his colleague’s death, has this to say, “

The operation was carried out on August, 15, 2010 and that was my first time of going out with them. Solomon (the deceased colleague), invited me to follow him to join them at G.R.A Ijebu-Ode.

“I am a driver attached to one Lukman Shobande in Shagamu town. I received a call from Solomon on that Sunday when he asked what I was doing. I told him I was less busy and he asked if I could join him at GRA Ijebu_Ode which I obliged. He told me that he (Solomon) was in a friend’s home at the GRA and then, asked if I could drive them to a place.

It was easy for me to locate the place because he had given me the description of the home at the GRA. When I got to his friend’s home within the GRA, I met three other friends of his and I was asked to enter a Toyota Camry Saloon Car with them. We left the home and went to a residence within the GRA. Solomon asked me to stay with the car outside, while the four of them went through a giant gate and straight to the main building.

They had hardly spent 20 minutes when I heard  gunshots booming within the building. I was jolted with the sound of the gunshot and I took courage to enter into the main building and find out what was amiss. What I saw was that Tobi and Sunday were carrying Solomon. When they saw me, they asked me to quickly open the door of the vehicle and head straight towards Iperu General Hospital.

When we got to Iperu General Hospital, the nurses we met on duty told us that medical doctors were on strike and we were referred to Isara General Hospital, where Solomon finally gave up the ghost, while writhing in pain”, narrated the Delta State born_suspect.

Sunday John, who is an elder brother of the slain suspect, confessed that all his siblings and family members were aware of the involvement of Solomon in an armed robbery.

“The family had on several occasions counseled and also, dissuaded him but he would not listen to them”, said the Igbaki, Edo State-born suspect.

“I was in a Church service that Sunday before I received a call from Tobi, telling me that they were involved in a ghastly motor accident along Ijebu-Ode/Ore expressway. When I asked where they were, they told me they were by the roadside in Isara.

I left and rushed to the scene and met them sitting inside a vehicle. Solomon was no more as he had given up the ghost. When I demanded to know what went wrong, they told me they had gone to Ijebu-Ode but they were attacked by cultists.

But the body injuries he sustained in his legs when I removed his cloth were that of bullet wounds. It bore no semblance with an accident. It was at that spot I quickly concluded they might have gone to rob and in the process, Solomon was unlucky as he was shot by armed policemen. I did not waste time and I called our elder brother in Lagos to inform him what had happened to Solomon.

As an elderly person, he asked me to convey his remains to a nearby cemetery for burial which I quickly organized with his friends whom they had gone out together before the gory incident. We buried him at Ikenne Cemetery. That was all I did and I do not know anything about the activities of the gang. It was Mafee Alex who was initially arrested and he mentioned my name”, said the 35_year_old suspect.

However,  Shoboyejo Ishahu absolved himself of complicity in the gang. He said his only sin was because he knows Mafee Alex, who is his old friend.   The Shagamu, Ogun State_born suspect, who claimed to be a Senior Assistant Supervisor on Information to the Chairman of Shagamu Local Government, Ogun State, disclosed that he was at home until the detectives came for him.

“Last Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at about 2:00a.m, I was on my bed at Ogbodo Compound, Ikenne until I heard a loud bang on my door with a strong voice asking me to open. The visitors claimed they were policemen and that they had come to see me.

When I opened the door, the policemen pointed torchlight at my face and asked what my names were. I identified myself and they took me to the station. When I got to the station, Mafee Alex was brought out of the cell to identify whether I belong to their gang but he exonerated me.

The policemen further asked whether I knew one Oloko, and I told them I knew him but did not know his present whereabouts. Also, they gave biro and a paper to Mafee to write down the name”.

The state commissioner of Police,  Musa Daura,   said  luck ran out on the four suspects, following a tip-off that a notorious member of the gang, Solomon who was shot dead during a raid, was buried in the public cemetery.

Following useful information volunteered by residents of Ikenne, it was gathered that some suspects, who were strongly suspected to be members of the gang, were arrested.   During investigation, it was learnt that one Mafee Alex Maxwell, confessed to be a member of the robbery gang. Reports said he stated further that the corpse buried in Ikenne was that of Solomon who was shot dead during their last operation in Ijebu-Ode.

Daura listed a Pump Action Rifle, three live cartridges, a barrette pistol, a Nokia handset, assorted charms, and a bag containing laptop computer, play station, a bundle of cloth and a necklace as items recovered from the gang.

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