From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
One of the prosecution witnesses in the ongoing Offa robbery case, Inspector Hitila Hassan, said yesterday that no fewer than 21 AK 47 rifles were stolen from the armoury of a police station in the community.
The witness, who was being led by the prosecutor, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, spoke at the resumed hearing of the case at an Ilorin High Court.
No fewer than 33 people, including nine policemen, were killed in the bloody robbery on April 5, 2018.
The witness identified the five accused persons undergoing trial as accomplices of the late main suspect, Michael Adikwu.
They are: Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
He also told the court that the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footages of the robbed banks disclosed the identity of the accused, culminating in their arrest.
Hassan, an officer attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), said other members of the gang were still at large.
He said his team was in Ilorin on the directive of the then IGP to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
Hassan said his team worked with officers of the Criminal Investigation Department on its assignment.
“ We visited the armoury at Offa Police Station where we discovered that no fewer than 21 AK 47 rifles were carted away by the armed robbers.
“We also gathered from the accused persons that the late Michael Adikwu after the attacks on the banks headed for the police station and started shouting that he had come on a revenge mission over his dismissal from the force.
“Then he started shooting sporadically in every direction at the station.
“Having carefully watched the footages of the CCTV, we identified the faces in the camera and then circulated them in the social media for Nigerians to assist us in the arrest of the culprits.
“Through that we generated our intelligence that led to the arrest of one Ibikunle Ogunleye in Oro, Irepodun Local Government Area of the state.
“Initially, he denied having anything to do with the incident but when confronted with CCTV evidence, he confessed and said he was one of the persons inside the banks wielding AK47 rifles.
“His arrest assisted us in the arrest of four other accused persons standing trial,’’ he said.
Earlier, Insp Yusuf Dauda, an exhibit keeper at the headquarters of the Nigeria Police in Ilorin, also testified. The prosecution tendered all the items as exhibits in the case. Justice Halimat Salman adjourned the case till Feb. 19 and Feb. 20 for continuation of hearing.