Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Oyo State Police Command has recovered 10,000 pieces of live cartridges being used by single and double barrel guns, pump action guns and cut-to-size pistols from illegal arms merchants that have allegedly been supplying the ammunition to different armed robbery syndicates.
The four persons arrested in connection with the crime were paraded by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Shina Olukolu, at the command’s headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan on Thursday.
The four suspects were among the 22 persons paraded by Olukolu on allegations that included armed robbery, burglary, stealing, and fraud.
According to Olukolu, the illegal ammunition merchants were arrested on July 23, 2019 at about 2p.m at Oke-Bola area of Ibadan by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), saying “information received at SARS office Ibadan revealed that some notorious hoodlums, who specialise in supplying arms and ammunition to different armed robbery syndicates that have been terrorising members of the public within and outside Ibadan metropolis and other parts of Oyo State were sighted in their hideout at Oke-Bola area of Ibadan.
“Sequel to this information, a team of operatives of SARS swung into action and in the process, four of the hoodlums who later identified themselves as Adekunle Abimbola, Abel Kojo, Mukaila Ariyo, and Ade Adebayo, were arrested in their hideout.
“Ten thousand pieces of live cartridges, an unregistered Toyota Sienna LE Mini bus, and a Toyota Camry with registration number Lagos GGE 979 FT were also recovered from the hoodlums. Investigation is in progress.”
But one of the suspects, Adekunle Abimbola, said he was in the business of selling the live cartridges to hunters, and that hunters have been patronising them.
The CP, Olukolu, also paraded two suspected female armourers, Ajoke Abu,20, and Azeezat Ismaila,22, who were arrested on July 27, this year, in Iseyin town in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State, with one locally made double barrel pistol.
According to the police, the two female suspects “are members of a notorious syndicate gang and whose duty is to conceal and convey arms and ammunition to any location, where their male syndicate members would carry out their criminal activities.
“Upon interrogation, they confessed to the crime and explained that they were given the pistol by their syndicate kingpin simply known as ‘Fela’ and his cohorts to conceal the gun from Lagos State to evade police arrest on the way to Iseyin town, where they were to carry out their criminal activity. Efforts to arrest the kingpin and his cohorts who are at large are being intensified.”
But one of the suspects, Ajoke Abu, told journalists that she went with her friend, Azeezat, to Iseyin town for masquerade festival, saying: “We live at Mushin in Lagos and we travelled to Iseyin for ‘egungun’ festival. The pistol that was recovered from us, we don’t know anything about it. It was recovered from a bag, which we helped one of our Male friends to convey to Iseyin.”
The police boss also paraded 10 persons for allegedly duping unsuspecting members of the public by operating an alleged fake microfinance bank, known as Staagmart Nigeria Limited, situated at D69 Oyingbo, Lagos State, but operates at Lokoja area of Kogi State.
One Mr. Doyin Ayeni, who introduced himself as the Chief Executive Officer of the microfinance bank stated that the company is a financial institution and it’s into giving of soft leans to their customers, adding that customers were to invest N30,000 and above to be entitled to 10 per cent of the total money invested within five days.
The police stated that “after receiving huge unaccounted amount of money from their customers in Lokoja, they decided to abscond with the money to Ibadan” and they lodged in a hotel at Boluwaji area of Ibadan, before they were arrested by the police.
But Ayeni stated that he was employed to work in the company and his employers were the ones that have details of the company, adding that he discharged his duties very well.