The Nigeria Police on Thursday paraded seven members of a gang responsible for robbing three banks in Ondo and Ekiti States between 2019 and the early part of 2020, killing six policemen in the process.
Leader of the gang, 42-year old Ojo Tubonsun, who confessed to the crime, said he was grateful to God that they were arrested by the police.
Tubonsun was paraded alongside six other members of his gang at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Headquarters in Abuja.
Also paraded were suspects for other offenses including arms dealing, fraud, homicide and kidnapping.
Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who paraded 32 suspects said items recovered from them included one AK-47 rifle, one AK-49 rifle; two pump action rifles, 19 locally made pistols, 129 live cartridges for the pump actions, 145 rounds of live ammunition and one Toyota Corolla salon car.
The arrests were made by operatives of the Special Tactical Squad (STS).
Mba said Tubonsun’s gang carried out the three robberies between 2019 and the early part of this year.
“Between 2019 and the early part of this year, three cases of bank robberies were recorded in Ondo and Ekiti States. Three banks located at Ile-Oluji in Ondo State, Idanre also in Ondo State, as well as Oye in Ekiti State were at different times attacked and robbed by this same gang.
“Operatives from STS carried very extensive and intensive investigations into this case that lasted for months and today we are glad that we can present to you the outcome of these comprehensive investigations. Six policemen were killed as a result of those robberies. Four were killed during the robbery at Ile-Oluji in Ondo, while two were killed during the Oye in Ekiti State. A branch of WEMA Bank, a branch of UBA as well as a micro finance bank were attacked in those three operations,” the police spokesman said.
Other members of the gang arrested were Ismail Ojo, 25; Victor Owoyemi, 36; Adeniyi John, 42; Sola Oladimeji, 50; Olubadu Fatoye, 41; and Dele Ariyo, 44.
Mba said the gang’s operations were highly organized and clinically executed.
“They had clear cut division of labour and each member of the group had an assigned role and they played it as effectively as they could. Fatoye and Ariyo were Okada riders who carried out surveillance operations while the robberies were going on. Their roles were to monitor the roles and monitor the advance of the police and other security agencies and keep the group informed of any external incursion into the areas the operations were taking place and they were paid handsomely for it. They all participated in the three operations and got different amounts for their roles.”
Confessing to the crime, the gang leader, Tubonsun, said, “We robbed UBA in Oye, Ekiti, I led them inside to go and pack the money, while others were outside. I did the same for the other two banks. At Ile-Oluji, I shared the money. My share was N1.1 million, some got N500, 000, some 350, 000 and so on. At Idanre we also shared the money. At Ile-Oluji, four policemen were killed, at Oye Ekiti, two policemen were killed.
“We thank God for God that the police got us arrested because it is the will of God. It was the will of God for the police to arrest us. If not the will of God, it would not be so. God has a purpose for us that is why. We know that we have already sinned. We have sinned against man and God. We have already begged, I personally have begged, for the forgiveness of the Almighty God. I also beg for forgiveness of human beings, and God will help us in Jesus name.”
Tubosi, who said he started robbing in 2018, said they carried out the operations using three pump actions, one AK and some locally made guns.
He said, “I did not support the killing of the policemen. I was inside. When I came outside and saw they killed two policemen, I blamed them. When I started to blame them, one of them fired my leg. I used hot water and ampiclox to treat the gunshot wounds,” he said.
The Police also paraded 33-year Usman Garba for arms dealing.
Mba said Garba was arrested while taking arms to bandits in Kaduna.
The FPRO said Garba, who moved from Dede in Abuja, was going to deliver 131 rounds of live ammunition to one Sani in Kaduna, when he was arrested by the STS.
Also paraded were a car thief, Sunday Ekele, 37 and a gang that specialized in obtaining money from innocent members of the public under false pretense.
Mba said the gang engaged in blackmailing, threatening and even kidnapping their victims.
The gang at various times fraudulently pretended to be old men, women or children as part of their ploy to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.