•Suspected armed robbery syndicate arrested in Egbeda, Oyo State while on their way to Ekiti to rob bank. Pic by James Ogunnaike
By James Ogunnaike
RECENTLY, men of the Ogun State Police Command paraded some notorious criminals, who were on a mission to Ekiti State to rob a commercial bank.
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The syndicate, who were arrested on 5th of December, 2019 included Ahmed Abdullahi, Adebanjo Bamidele, Johnson Ojo and Mathew Olagoke.
The suspects were paraded at the police headquarters in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital recently after their failed robbery attempt. It was gathered that the suspect were in cohort with the bank it question to aid a smooth operation.
The Police boss disclosed that after getting an Intel, men of the IGP-STS unit swung into action to intercept and arrest the robbers who were dressed in military uniforms and armed to the teeth. Items discovered from the robbers include charms, locally made short-guns, ATM cards, live cartridges, seven mobile phones and military uniforms.
Bank manager contacted us—Suspects
One of the suspects Johnson Ojo revealed that the bank manager contacted the robbers and gave them information about some amount of money yet-to-be deposited into the bank vault. The conspiracy to rob the bank also involved six other bank officials.
The other major suspect, a dismissed soldier identified as Emmanuel was given N100,000 by the bank manager to acquire more guns for the operation.
Speaking with Vanguard, 35 years old Ojo, an indigene of Ekiti in Ekiti State, said his brother, Dele who knows a bank Manager of one of the banks in Ekiti State said his friend called him to come to his bank for an operation.
My brother Dele is a farmer and driver.
He said: “The Bank Manager told him (his brother) that there are some money in his bank. The money has been packed in a Ghana-Must Go bag; though I don’t know the actual amount”.
“He came to Sango in Ogun State to hold meeting with us and he promised to give us the appropriate time that we will come for the operation”.
“The Bank Manager also promised to provide us with vehicle we will use for the operation, because he said he has two vehicles.
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“We were arrested in Egbeda area of Oyo State and my brother, Dele who was our driver was able to escape at the scene of the arrest.
“I do not know the name of the bank manager but he is my brother’s friend”.
On his part, the 36 year-old Matthew Olagoke, an indigene of Abeokuta in Ogun State, said Johnson called him that his brother has a friend in Ekiti who is a bank manager.
He said, “the bank manager told him that there is some money in his possession. The money is in his office and it has not been recorded in the banks record and that he needed some people that would disguised as military personnel who will come and carry the money.
“He promised that he would clear way for us where we are coming for the operation. He said, whenever we are coming, he would deliberately call meeting of management staff of the bank so we would have easy access into the bank for the operation”.
“I have a friend who is a soldier and his name is Emmanuel. I called him and explained everything to him. He insisted to see the Bank Manager and all of us including the Bank Manager met at Alakuko.
“We had the meeting on Thursday; he (the bank manager) told us to come to Ekiti on that Thursday and said the operation should take place on Friday. Emmanuel said, he doesn’t have gun and the bank manager sent N100,000 to Emmanuel to rent a gun and he gave us one of his vehicles as he promised for the operation.
“We took off from Iwo Road in Ibadan and we were arrested in Egbeda. The military uniform I wear was given to me by the soldier.”
In his confession, 42-year old Bamigboye Adebanji, from Osun State, who was dismissed from the Armed Forces in 2013 because he left barracks without permission, said: “We were arrested on our way to Ekiti for an operation.”
He said: “He was commissioned into Nigeria Army in 2002 and said, he has served in many operations in the Nigerian Army.”
A private soldier, who served with Nigerian Army, Monguno barracks, 242 Armoured Brigade, Maiduguri was dismissed in the military for going AWOL.
He further disclosed that, the gang which specializes in robbing banks, filling stations, and University hostels had recently robbed University of Ibadan, Federal University of Technology, FUTA, Akure hostels among others.
He denied that he doesn’t know the name of the bank manager where they were going for the operation.
“To God, who made me, I do not know the name of the bank where the operation was to take place. I do not know the name of the bank manager”.
“I do not wear my uniform. I kept them in my bag and planning to wear them when we get to the venue of the operation.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Ebrimson, vowed to deal decisively with anybody who chose to take crime as business, as the state will not be safe to orchestrate their evil acts.
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He equally appealed to parents and guardians to warn their children against the use of fireworks during the yuletide season.
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