LAGOS—As fresh facts begin to emerge about the Ikorodu banks robbery operation where N80 million was reportedly carted away a fortnight ago, one of the suspects has revealed that they planned the operation at a meeting that lasted 30 minutes.
It was also discovered that 12 members of the gang were recruited from the Niger Delta region.
This is just as the four suspects arrested in connection with the operation, which lasted close to two hours, have confessed that their gang was responsible for similar operations at Ijede road three weeks before that of Ipakodo also at Ikorodu, and that of Lekki, where five persons, including three policemen, were killed.
The arrested suspects include Omoboye, alias Alarm blow, 39; Bright, 25; Ikuesan, 37, and Abiwa, 20.
The bank robbery, according to Bright, was carried out by an 18-man gang. Bright, a graduate of English/Christian Religious Study, CRS, from the College of Education, Ekiadolor, Edo State, said a meeting with members of the gang, chaired by the gang’s leader, whose identity he gave as Million, was held in Abule area of Lagos same day the operation was carried out.
The father of two said: “Million is our leader. I was introduced to the gang by a friend named Akpan. I joined because I had no means of feeding my family. I am a wood logger, but business has been bad.
“Akpan took me to the gang’s meeting same day of the operation, on June 24, at Abule Ishawo area of Ikorodu. Those of us from Lagos included myself, M. O., Kelvin, S. K. Careboy and Million, while the rest were recruited from Warri, Delta State, by Million.
“He also brought eight rifles and two pump action guns from Warri, including the two operational vehicles. He taught us how to aim at our targets during the meeting, which lasted 30 minutes, with each of us instructed on what to do on reaching the venue.
“My role was to stand outside, with one of the pump action guns, shooting sporadically. I was also instructed to shoot at anyone who dared to intrude, while the boys recruited from Warri confronted the police.
“I had over 900 cartridges. At the end of the operation, we escaped in a fibre boat and went to the creeks, where the loot was shared. At the creeks, we analysed the operation and Million said we did well, promising to use us for subsequent operations.”
‘I got N2m’
“I was not allowed to go near where the money was counted. Million and other leaders counted the money. But Akpan told me they got N80 million. I was given N2 million.
“I bought a Lexus SUV for N1.5 million and I gave my wife N30,000 to enrol for an exam. I also gave some of my friends out of it and also bought jerry cans for my brother, who is a pipeline vandal.
“Million instructed those from Warri to set the operational vehicles ablaze before leaving the scene. That was after the numbers plates were removed.
“He collected the cost of the cars from the loot before sharing the rest among us. That was my first time of joining them. I did not go with them to the Lekki and Ijede banks operations.”
Lekki, Ijede’s robbery operation
On his part, Omoboye, a boat operator, said that he conveyed the gang to all the three bank operations.
Omoboye, popularly known as Baba Ibeji, said he was given N400,000 from Lekki’s operation and N2 million each from the Ijede and Ipakodo bank robberies.
He said: “At the end of the last bank operation at Ipakodo, my boat developed a fault as we were escaping. If the police had come after us, they would have arrested some of us. But the leader of the gang called another boat operator to take us.
“On reaching their hideout at Abule Ishawo, they did not allow us in because we were considered strangers that could sell them out to the police.
“I got N400,000 from the Lekki operation, N2 million from the Ijede’s and N2 million from the Ipakodo operation.
“We are into illegal oil bunkering; we vandalise pipelines and also rob people in the creeks. I have two wives and five children, but my wives do not know I am into armed robbery.
“I bought a Lexus SUV for N1.15 million, four days after the last operation.”
My promise to
Briefing journalists earlier on the arrest, the outgoing Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, pointed out that the arrest was a demonstration of his earlier assurance to Lagosians that no criminal would perpetrate any sinister motive without being arrested.