…Import guns for robbers
By NGOZI UWUJARE
the arrest of a couple, 27-year-old Matthew Abioro and 25-year-old Precious Oyekunle, has demonstrated another meaning of the marital vow: for better, for worse.
Abioro and Precious, who are undergoing interrogation at the headquarters of the Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Ogun State Police Command, Abeokuta, allegedly served as fences for the disposal of 30 stolen motorcycles in Benin Republic and then used the proceeds to buy arms and ammunitions for robbers based in Olomore Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Their nefarious activity came to light after they were nabbed by operatives of SARS, as Sunday Sun learnt from the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Illiyasu, who also disclosed that the couple were closely associated with one Azeez Owoyele, leader of a gang of robbers who stole motorcycles from commercial motorcyclists in Ogun and Lagos states. The motorcycles were then delivered to the couple for disposal across the border in Benin Republic.
He also said that the police were hot on the trail of Oyewole who is now at large. Illiyasu said that prior to the arrest of the couple, the command had been inundated with complaints by members of the public who reported the theft of their motorcycles at gunpoint by gangs operating in the state.
Following the incessant reports, the commander of SARS, Supol Uba Adams and his men began investigating the growing trend of motorcycle theft at gunpoint in the Abeokuta and Sango areas of the State and then made a breakthrough that led them to track down the couple in April this year, as they were preparing to deliver the latest consignment of arms and ammunition they brought from Benin Republic to the gang.
Adams further disclosed that members of the gang were planning to carry out another operation in Abeokuta before the police raided their hideout and arrested two suspects, Semiu Soliq a.k.a Mata and Tunde Olufadeji.
At the headquarters of SARS, where she is being held in custody, Precious had a brief chat with Sunday Sun: “My husband and I work with Azeez Owoyele, our school mate, who is the leader of a gang that snatches motorcycles. Azeez and the gang have stolen 30 motorcycles. We take the motorcycles to Benin Republic, where we sell them. We used part of the money to buy arms and ammunitions, which the Azeez and the gang use during their operations.”
Precious who hails from Abeokuta North Local Government, Ogun State, claimed to be a nurse, said that she and her husband had been had engaged in the alleged criminal activity over two years ago. She said economic difficulties drew her into acting as a fence for the gang.
She added that she met and got married to Abioro, a former schoolmate, she never knew he was engaged in armed robbery. It was long after that she made the discovery, and by then it was already late. She resigned herself to the situation and began working together with him, to help dispose the stole motorcycles.
Confirming what the wife said, Abioro said she did not know his occupation until they were married and living together.
Abioro told Sunday Sun that they sold each motorcycle for the sum of N358,000 and N35,000 naira to buy arms and ammunitions. The balance was shared by members of the gang, each of who got N10,000.
The SARS commander, Adams, said his men had so far been able to recover four motorcycles from the couple, including some arms and ammunition. He added: “We recovered a Dane gun, cartridges and a pump action rifle from other members of the gang.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of police has assured that upon conclusion of investigation, the couple would be charged to court.