By Dayo Johnson
Akure— A 47-year-old herbalist, Martins Kolawole, arrested for the murder of the Bursar of the Anglican Communion in Ondo State, Gabriel Abiodun, has said he took to robbing because his work as a herbalist was no longer lucrative.
Kolawole and an alleged accomplice, 54-year-old Chief Lawrence Ojo, were paraded by the state police command.
Recall that late Abiodun was shot dead by killers that invaded the Akure Diocesan office of the Anglican Communion in the state and carted away N500,000 church money meant to pay workers.
He was trailed from one of the banks, where he had withdrawn the money, by the robbers.
In an interview, the herbalist confessed that he was given N90,000 in the first operation after robbing a bank customer who withdrew a large sum from the bank.
His words: “I bought two tyres for my car out of my share and spent the rest on merriment. This was the second trip I will go with the gang.
“My job is to drive the get-away vehicle after other members have robbed the unsuspecting bank customer. We have informants inside the bank. We trail our victim from the bank until he or she gets to a safe place and we descend on them.”
Asked why he abandoned the herbalist trade, Martins said: “It was no more lucrative and I decided to look for another quick avenue to make money. I have four children and my wife has left me many years ago.”
Parading the suspects, the state Police Commissioner, Undie Adie, said: “On May 28, at about 4p.m., one Adeyinka Adeniyi of 2, Mama Eko Street off Orita Obele Estate, Akure, went to an Alagbaka branch of a bank and withdrew N450,000.
“He kept the money in a safe in his car and drove to his building site at Adegbola Area, Akure, unknown to him that he was being trailed by robbers.
“He parked the car and went into the site. When he came back, he discovered that his car was broken into and the money carted away and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, were promptly contacted.
“Detectives swung into action and arrested one Martins Adetoye Kolawole and Chief Lawrence Adebayo Ojo.
“On interrogation, they confessed to committing the crime. Their operational vehicles which they always used to monitor their victims from, one Toyota Camry with number plates JJJ 752 EKY and a Sienna bus with number plates LSR 792 BE, were impounded.”
The Police chief said investigation is still ongoing to track down one Gbenga, who is a member of the gang.
“It is sad to say that this same gang was responsible for the death of one Gabriel Abiodun, a bursar and verger to the Anglican Church Diocese, Akure, recently, as one of the suspects in that incident, Martins Adetoye, was easily identified by one of the lucky victims of the attack,” he added.