By Ifeanyi Okolie
A 31-year-old member of a notorious robbery gang, Olatunde Adetunji, arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, has said their armourer normally covered their bag of guns with baskets and sacks, where she sells tomatoes and pepper in the market.
The 54-year-old armourer, Bashirat Akinmushire, alias Area Mama, has also been arrested by the IRT operatives while trying to escape.
Vanguard gathered that Adetunji, who is a member of Eye Confraternity, ran into trouble when he led some members of his gang to attack a middle-aged woman, a salesgirl, on her way to the bank at Opebi area, Ikeja, and dispossessed her of her money and cell phone.
It was gathered from a Police source that Adetunji was arrested few days after the operation when the woman, whose identity wasn’t disclosed, sighted him on Toyin Street, Ikeja, while he was planning to rob a passer-by.
The woman, it was further gathered, raised the alarm which alerted operatives of the IRT, who apprehended Adetunji.
He was said to have confessed that members of his gang normally keep their guns with a woman, who reside at Isolo area of the state.
Police sources disclosed that in an effort to recover Adetunji’s operational rifle and pistol, he led them to a market in Jakande Low-Cost Housing Estate in Isolo area of the state, where Area Mama was arrested
She reportedly told the operatives that the guns were no longer in her possession, as she had given them to a senior member of the gang, Junior, alias Jungle.
The source added that when Area Mama was asked to take the operatives to Jungle’s house, she misled them by taking them to a wrong location and also attempted to escape, but fell into a ditch in the process.
Adetunji, in a chat with Vanguard, said: “I am a member of the Eye confraternity and I joined while I was in a university in Ogun State, but when I dropped out I came back home to join members of my cult group in Jakanda estate and I discovered that they had already procured an Ak-47 rifle and a revolver pistol”.
“They told me that they bought the guns from a soldier and do keep the guns at Area Mama’s shop, who is also a member of our cult group.
He added she normally hid the gun at the back of her shop where she sells pepper and tomatoes. She would cover the bag of guns with basket and sacks. We have used the guns for several operations and we used to give her N5,000 after every operation. But the main jobs we do with the guns are to fight our opponents who are revival cult members”.
But Area Mama in her own statement confessed that Adetunji and Jungle forced her to keep the guns for the group because she is a member of their group and she also took oaths to keep their secrets.
“I took an oath when I joined the group but I didn’t know that they will assign the duty of keeping their guns to me. I tried to protest against keeping the guns for them but they threatened to kill me if I don’t keep the guns for them.
“Because of the oath we took together, I could not tell anyone that I was keeping guns for the group. They used to come for it whenever they have an operation but I don’t know what they use to do with the guns and after each operation, they gave me N5,000, but a few months ago, Jungle came and collected the guns and he is yet to return them to me. I took the Police to his house but we didn’t find him in the house.”