By Ola Ajayi
Scores of people who besieged the Oyo State Police Command headquarters, Eleyele Ibadan where some robbery suspects and others were paraded, could not believe their eyes seeing women’s underwear and other personal effects being displayed as part of items allegedly stolen by four able bodied suspected burglars from a shop at Sango area of Ibadan.
The suspects had successfully burgled the shop and allegedly stolen the items, but they ran out of luck as vigilant policemen, through intensive investigation, traced them to their hideout at Apete area in Ido Local Government Area of the state.
The men whose names were given as Godbless Oluku, 26, Alaka Babatunde, 23, Benjamin Ocran Segun 18, and Jamiu Alabi, 38, up to the time they were being paraded alongside other suspects could still not believe how the long arm of the law caught up with them after leaving the scene of the burglary.
While they were sad that they would likely spend some time behind bars if found guilty of the offence, the owner of the burgled shop was full of thanks to the state police command led by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeleye Oyebade for their hard work which led to arrest of the suspects and recovery of her wares which had been carted away by the hoodlums.
While speaking with Vanguard after the parade of the suspects, Bolanle Ogunmiye said after the end of sales on Thursday, she closed her shop and left for her house. But, unknown to her, the hoodlums had gained access to her shop and parked her wares.
She said, “the burglars forced themselves into my shop between Thursday and Friday, but I did not know until Saturday. When I got to my shop on Saturday, they had emptied it. In my estimate, they stole goods worth well over N150,000. Among the items they stole include a point of sale(POS) machine, cosmetics, women’s undies and many other things.”
Ogunmiye thanked the police command for wiping her tears away by recovering all the items, adding that if not for the vigilance of the police, the burglars would have succeeded in stealing the items, wrecking her life and leaving indelible scars on her. Only God can tell if she could have recovered from the loss she would incur.
One of the suspects who felt reluctant to talk and stubbornly refused to mention his name confessed saying, “we went to rob on Friday and later burgled the shop at Sango. We were caught by men of Oodua Peoples Congress who later handed us over to the police”.
He also confessed being an ex-convict for stealing and that he found it extremely difficult to quit stealing after serving a six month jail term because there was nothing he could do.
CP Oyebade said, “On September 27,2015 at about 1700 hours while Special Anti-robbery Squad of the command was on a routine patrol of the town, it intercepted two notorious burglars at Apete area of Ibadan.
Through a well coordinated, discreet investigation, property stolen from shops earlier burgled at Sango area, Ibadan were recovered in the houses of the suspects.
According to him, the items include 50 pairs of assorted shoes, 15 pairs of female pants, 8 wristwatches, 6 necklaces, one big iron cutter, two POS credit card machines and 41 unused Etisalat sim cards.
Among the thirteen suspects paraded include alleged robbery syndicate from whom dangerous weapons were recovered. The state police boss explained that the “command’s commitment to visibility policing through intensive patrol and stop and search manifested in the arrest recently of a gang of armed robbers who until their arrest were responsible for the spate of robbery attacks in Ibadan metropolis and its environs. The robbery syndicate had planned to carry out other robbery operations in some parts of the state when an anti crime team of the Alakia/Adenubi Division on routine patrol of the town intercepted the gang thereby foiling other robbery attacks they intended to carry out”.
He noted that four suspects who allegedly specialized in using motorcycles to rob victims were arrested in the process and items found on them include a locally-made pistol, two live cartridges and assorted criminal charms.
The names of the suspects, according to him, are Olayinka Olamide, 24, Kamoru Opeyemi, 23, Michael Emeka, 24 and Olaniyi Oyeniyi, 25.
The police also succeeded in apprehending another gang of suspected robbers who were fond of snatching motorcycles at gun point. While explaining how the policemen accosted the suspects, he told Vanguard saying, “on September 27, at Olugbon area of Ogbomoso, two suspected armed bandits robbed and dispossessed one Simeon Adeleye of his motorcycle at gun point. The swift response of the SARS along Oyo/Ogbomoso/Ilorin road while trying to transport the stolen motorcycle to their base in Kwara State. The arrest of the duo led to the arrest of other members of the robbery syndicate and recovery of other motorcycles earlier stolen in a similar manner. The suspects who have confessed to incidents of stolen motor cycles in different locations in the state and other neighbouring states are helping the police in their investigation to recover other property so stolen.
He gave the names of the suspects as Waheed Kareem, 27, Akeem Salami, 32, Abdulwasiu Fingba, 24, Fatai Fasasi, 28 and Adam Laaro, 33. As for the suspected cultists who were arrested by the police, one of them said they came from Ekiti to Ibadan to celebrate Sallah before they were caught. While confessing that they belonged to Supreme Eye Confraternity, the suspect explained how they usually get weapons adding that the weapons are always passed on to incoming executive of the cult by the outgoing leaders.
Dangerous weapons were allegedly recovered from them. While assuring that all the suspects would be charged to court, the CP appreciated the support of members of the public and enjoined them to continue to support the police in their resolve to fight criminality in the state. He said, “We are determined more than ever to ensure adequate security for all and sundry.