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Two down… more to go •As Oyo police wage war against criminals •Arms, ammunition recovered
THE number of armed robbers terrorising Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, was decimated on Sunday August 5 when operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ibadan, brought two of them down at Bibilari area of Ikolaba as they were about dispossessing their victims whom they had followed into their home with a motorcycle. Another member of the gang was said to have escaped the scene with bullet wounds from superior firepower of the anti-robbery team.
At the police headquarters where their corpses were displayed on Monday August 6, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Clement Adoda informed Crime Features that the SARS operatives, led by Emmanuel Simisere, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, were on patrol at the area on Sunday evening when they sighted an armed man holding two security guards at gunpoint.
“As he sighted the operatives, he shouted to alert his gang members who had already followed their victims into a building and shot at our policemen. He mounted an okada while one of those who followed their victims came out and attempted to mount the okada. He was however felled by the police bullets. Another emerged from the house and also aimed at the police to pave way for his escape but before he could do that, he was shot at by our men and he was also brought down. A third one was also shot but he escaped with bullet wounds.
“ One locally-made cut-to size single barrel gun, one locally-made single barrel pistol and one locally-made double barrel pistol, totalling three; eight live catridges and two expended ones were recovered from the injured suspects. One of them gave up the ghost on the way to the hospital while the other one gave up on Monday morning,” Mr Adoda said.
Narrating his experience to Crime Features, one of the robbers’ would-have-been victims who craved anonymity said he drove towards home in a Toyota Avalon car with his mother on the back seat and did not notice any vehicle or motorcycle following him. “I got to the gate and honked the horn; our househelp, a Togolese came out to open the gate for me. What I just noticed was that a man followed me in. Another one wanted to enter but our househelp used the gate to stop him and then shut it.
“The one that entered with us had two guns with him. He ordered me to lie down and I did. Surprisingly, I just saw that he turned round and ran away. He tried to jump the fence but fell off. He tried to climb it again and I heard a gunshot. It was later I learnt from our street guards that it was the armed robber who held them that fired that shot. By then, my mother ran into the house and I also ran inside. I started hearing the doors banging. I thought it was the armed robbers but I later saw it was our househelp trying to lock all doors.
We were hearing sounds of gunshots but when I later learnt that the police were around, I then knew the reason the sound of the gunshots were different from those of the robbers. Unlike the robbers’ own that was just pah!, those of the police were just coming one after the other. The guards later told me that the gang members were six and were with two motorcycles. While three stopped in our house, others went further down the street, probably to raid another house or to mount surveillance.
“When I saw the corpses of the armed robbers on Monday, I was really shaken because if not for the timely arrival of the SARS operatives at the scene, those boys could have caused grievous harm to members of my household because it was as if they had two guns each. I really appreciate the Simisere-led team for saving me and my family from these merciless armed robbers,” the victim stated.
In a case that seems to have a link with the Bibilari area event, policemen from Yemetu Division have also arrested two suspects and recovered two guns and 12 live catridges in a house at Yemetu area. The policemen had reportedly stormed Yemetu Igosun area on same Sunday, August 5 at about 9.30p.m. when they got a tip-off that there was gang of armed robbers in an old building in the area and they had brought in a member who had sustained gunshot injuries and was bleeding profusely. Others were reported to be treating him.
However, on sighting the private vehicle that was conveying the policemen, a member of the gang who had mounted surveillance and who recognised the vehicle alerted others inside the house with shouts and coded language. The gang was said to have escaped from the house with their injured member, shooting at the police as they were were trying to escape. Though the police saw a trail of the blood of the injured gang member to a point, it could not be seen after then.
Not deterred by this, the police, according to a source, laid ambush the following day and succeeded in arresting two suspects, one of whom was said to have allegedly shot at the police the previous day. The other one was said to have secured accommodation for members of the gang in his father’s house where the injured member was brought to. After conducting a search of all the rooms in the house, the policemen recovered two cut-to-size locally-made pistols, one of which is single barrel while the other is double barrel. Twelve live catridges were also recovered.
One of the arrested suspects, 20-year-old Muyideen Adeleke, however said that he was not an armed robber but a photographer. According to the boy who said his parents live at Ogbere-ti-oya area, “It was Nuru who asked me to help him look for an accommodation around where I live but I said there was none. We met where I used to assist a man to sell Indian hemp. I started smoking hemp since 2009.
“Eventually, Safiu helped him to secure a room in his father’s house but I used to go there to sleep sometimes. I got used to Nuru because I was no longer getting supply of marijuana to sell from my boss. I put my TV in his room because electricity was not constant in my house. I never knew he was into robbery and I never followed him out. It was when police recovered guns from his room that I knew. He was not giving me anything except N100, N200 sometimes. He also used to buy Indian hemp for me.
“I saw Mukaila when he was being brought in on Sunday evening. He was covered with a cloth and bleeding. Nuru and others took him in and chased me out. I later learnt that it was Mukaila and some were saying he was dead. Other gang members are Jando and Ige called Omo-Iya-Cele, though he was not fully a gang member but used to meet with them at hemp joint. It was Mukaila that was using a Bajaj motorcycle and it has been recovered by the police. I didn’t know they were into robbery but I knew they were not into a clean business. I have been warned severally but I did not heed the warning.”
The second suspect, who gave his name as Safiu Gbadamosi a.k.a. Alado said he was an okada rider before he stopped. “About a month ago, I saw Muyideen and Nuru who told me they were looking for accommodation. I knew the two of them at hemp joint where we used to gather to smoke at Igosun. I told them that there was no problem as there was a vacant room in my father’s house. Muyideen was living in my sister’s house.
“On Sunday, I decided to stroll to my father’s house because I had been ill for some time. I met Muyideen outside the house. I told him to help me wrap hemp. I later learnt that they brought in one Mukaila who had sustained gunshot injuries. My brother entered the room and saw blood on the bed so he called the police to inform them and I learnt that Muyideen shot at the police. I had left for home then so I came back to see what was happening. That was how I saw the police.” Safiu also admitted to smoking hemp.
Crime Features also gathered that Mukaila had once been arrested with one Wale Adedeji by the police for armed robbery and murder about two years ago as he was alleged to have killed two night guards during an operation. He was reportedly charged to court but somehow, he found his way out of prison without punishment. When shown the photograph of the armed robbers shot by SARS on Sunday, Muyideen and Safiu recognised one of them as Ako whom they said belonged to Nuru gang.
Meanwhile their case had been handed over to the SARS for proper investigation.Share