Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
A former District Police Officer (DPO) in Offa police station, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Adamu Danjuma, on Monda narrated in graphic details how armed robbers in April 5, 2018, killed nine police officers and eleven civilians in cold blood in the Kwara town.
Danjuma, at the time the station’s DPO, revealed how he escaped the attack by the skin of his teeth.
During the operation, no fewer than five banks and the Offa police post were attacked by the robbers.
All the accused – Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salahudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran – were present in court Monday, September 7.
The police officer said the armed robbers had destroyed the police armoury and carted away 21 AK47 rifles.
Giving evidence in at the Kwara State high court in Ilorin at the resumed hearing of the case, Danjuma, who is the fifth prosecution witness (PW5), added that the accused armed robbers also used explosive to attack banks and the police post.
He gave the names of the police officers and men that were gunned down by the suspected robbers as Julius Pelemo (ASP), Yusuf Danjuma (Inspector), Grace Makinde (Inspector) and Oke Kayode (Inspector).
Others are Sergeants Mustapha Kolawole, Bilikisu Babawale, Abimbola Adedokun, Yootum Nakoma and Monday Isa.
According to him: ‘On the said date at about 4:45 pm, I heard a gunshot from the direction of Captain Cook Eatery Junction in the town; in two minutes interval I heard sporadic shootings from that direction heading towards my police station. Immediately, I came out of my office to the charge room (counter). The shootings were approaching the station.
‘In response, I also fired gunshots into the air from my pistol. As a result there was temporary stoppage of shootings from outside.
‘Suddenly, the shootings started coming in from different directions towards the station. A lady who was manning the pedestrian gate was shot in one of her arms making her to abandon the place and ran for her dear life. The shootings continued.
‘Thereafter, the robbers released explosive into the security tower of the station. Another explosive was released and it hit the main road and bored deep hole on the road. This melee disorganized the whole station. Then the ammunition in my pistol had got exhausted. This made me to run for cover at the back of the station’s mosque.
‘At the back of the mosque I sighted three of the armed robbers chasing ASP Julius Pelemo to the back of the station’s fence. Then I heard the shout of the late Julius after a gunshot. Then I heard one of the robbers calling those ones that ran after the late ASP to come over to the charge room (counter). One of them entered the Surveillance Office and shot dead a police woman. From then two of them ran to the charge room (counter).
‘I now changed my position to the toilet near the back of the fence. At that place I was able to communicate with the state Commissioner of Police, deputy commissioner, operations and the command’s spokesperson
seeking for reinforcement. While this was happening at the state, simultaneously I was hearing gunshots at the banks direction in the town. I was also hearing explosions and accompanying flames around banks area.
‘At interval of between five and 10 minutes I would hear shootings from the charge room, making it impossible for me to come out of the toilet. After awhile I heard shouts from the town that “olee they don go”. From the toilet I headed straight to the charge room and then to the armoury to see the level of damage. When I entered the armoury I discovered that they had broken the armoury key. Then I went to my office and took my office padlock to lock the armoury.’
The police chief said that three civilians killed in his station by the robbers were one suspect and two witnesses.
He continued: ‘While I was planning to take corpses of the deceased to the mortuary, the Administrative Officer of Mopol came into the station with two police officers shot death on their duty post at the banks. In addition, other people brought in corpses of civilians killed by the robbers.’
He said he was instrumental for the conveyance of the 17 corpses to the General Hospital in Ilorin for autopsy and got their death certificates.
‘When I did a preliminary investigation and took inventory of the arms remaining in the armoury. Then we mopped up of the expended ammunition and deposited same at the state headquarters in Ilorin,’ he said.
Among the recovered exhibits, he said, are two expended 5.6mm black ammunition; four 5.6mm live ammunition; 39 expended 7.6mm ammunition; one expended 9mm ammunition; one live 5.6mm ammunition, four pellets and cartridge safety box labeled Ikoyi, Lagos, Ministry of Police Affairs.
Hearing of the case continues on Tuesday.