Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Aminu Pai Saleh, has warned landlords in the state to be wary of whom they rented their properties to.
This was just as a gang of four armed robbers, who reportedly specialised in attacking filling stations, in the state capital and its environs, has been nabbed by officers of the state police command in conjunction with the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Speaking with journalists, in Ilorin, on Tuesday, after parading the robbery suspects, CP Saleh said that leader of the gang, one James Obaje, 34, and a native of Dekina in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, had confessed to being a trainee and lieutenant to one Zakari Yau, a political thug in Kogi State.
The leader of the gang, during interview with journalists, also said that three AK 47 rifle, one K2 rifle and one Pump Action rifle, found on them, were given to him by the campaign team of the late APC governorship candidate in Kogi State, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, during electioneering.
The police boss, who said that other members of the gang included one Nelson Yakubu, 31, Ibrahim Mutari, 33, and Gboyega Olaoye, 35, added that all the suspects were from Kogi State, but resident in Ilorin except Gbenga Olaoye who was from Ekiti Local Government area of Kwara State.
“Sequel to reports received from some filling stations within Ilorin metropolis and its suburbs of armed robbery attacks, the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), who were detailed to Offa in the wake of the Offa armed robbery attack, in conjunction with F-SARS Kwara command, acting on very actionable intelligence, arrested one James Obaje ‘m’ 34 yrs a native of Dekina in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State.
During interrogation, he confessed to being the leader of a gang of armed robbers and also a trainee and lieutenant of one Zakari Yau, a political thug in Kogi State, already arrested by IGP Response team in an earlier operation.
“His confession led to the arrest of the following members of his gang that attacked several fuelling stations in Kaduna, FCT, Kogi and Kwara State.
“Exhibits recovered from the suspects include three AK 47 riffle, One K2 riffle, One Pump Action riffle, 311 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, 286 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition, One Blue Mazda 626 with Reg. KEY 627 DS (Their operational vehicle), Charms, Several Vehicle Plate numbers”, he said.
He added that the suspects also confessed to the armed robbery attack on Orange filling station, Tanke junction, Ilorin on May 15, 2018.
The police boss also said that efforts were still on to arrest remaining members of the gang, after which, he said that they would be charged to court.
Also paraded were seven suspected members of secret cult, known as Aiye Confraternity, including the vice president of the Students Union Government (SUG), among others, who were said to be students of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, in the state.
CP Saleh continued, “On May 7, 2018, the Command in a Press Release, alerted members of the public on the plans by various cult groups to mark the cultism day on July 7, 2018, while warning any person or group of persons from any such act, but as devil’s advocates which they are, the following cultists from Federal Polytechnic Offa blatantly refused to heed the warning, and were rounded up by the Anti-Cult Unit of the SCIID, Ilorin in the process of initiating new members to Aiye confraternity in preparation for an attack.
“Those arrested include, Temitope Nathaniel Omotosho, Student, Adewusi Vincent ‘m’ of Offa Poly, Tajudeen Selim – (Vice President S U G Offa Poly), Ayomide Ololade, Olanipekun Abimbola – Ex student of Kwara poly:Newly initiated members arrested;Akinsebikan George ‘m’, Gbolahan Ogunleye.
“Exhibits recovered from them are Red and White Regalia of Aiye secret Cult, Razor Blade, Calabash used for initiation, One live cartridge. Suspects will be charged to court
“Also criminal conspiracy being in possession of hard drug, unlawful possession of fire arms and being a member of cult. Amongst suspects arrested are Osuolale Gabriel, Wasiu Musa Gambari Suleiman Obalosun and Abdullahi Olowo all males .
Exhibits recovered include a sack containing dried weeds suspected to be cannabis, two cut to size guns, one cartridge, one axe, one cutlass, one saw blade, three knives, photographs.
CP Saleh noted that “On 5/7/2018 at about 1100 hrs acting on intelligence, one Osuolale Gabriel, of Mubo Street behind Railway, Maraba, Ilorin, a notorious criminal mustered miscreants brandishing firearm freely.
“On the strength of this, a team of operatives from F-SARS immediately visited the scene and the prime suspect named above was arrested with a sack full of weeds suspected strongly to be India hemp.
“In furtherance of investigation, at about 0300hrs, one Wasiu Musa Gambari, Saka Musa, Suleiman Obalowu, Abdullahi Olowo and Gbenga Fagbemi were arrested in their hideout somewhere in Gambari area Ilorin with the above named incriminating and other dangerous weapons waiting to strike.
“Meanwhile, effort is ongoing to extend our tentacles to unmask other members of the gang.
While other arrested for armed robbery and being in possession of fire arms include, Musbau Akoile,Mustapha Azeez, Yusuf Abdullahi.
Exhibits recovered include three cut to size barrel guns, one live cartridge, one expended cartridge l, one Baja motorcycle, one Thermocool generator and one axe.
Explaining the CP said: “On 20/6/2018 at about 0330hrs one Musbau Akosile a.k.a Para who disguised as a carpenter, was arrested based on intelligence, to be a member of armed robbery gang, immediately operatives swung into action, he was arrested and searched on the spot, a locally made cut-to-size barrel gun with one live cartridge was recovered in the workshop where hidden.
“He confessed that he purchased the locally made pistol from one Azeez Mustapha ‘m’ and one Yusuf Abdullahi ‘m’ who also confessed to have sold the locally made pistol to Musbau Akosile a.k.a Para ‘m’.
“They were accordingly tracked and arrested. In the course of further investigation, two other locally-made cut-to-size barrel guns, one expended cartridge and weeds suspected to be cannabis were also found with them. Meanwhile, investigation is ongoing to recover more arms already in the hands of fleeing members of the gang. Suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.”