Our leader coordinated operations from prison ? Former soldiers and others arrested for Ebonyi bullion van robbery attack confess lindaikejisblog

The two dismissed soldiers have been identified as Ayeni Samuel and Emeka Ariston, and it was learnt that they were arrested alongside Abanara’s cousin, Alfred Robinson and four others identified as Sunday Solemu, Abuchi Alfred, Emeka Ilo and Ekene Igbanifore by the operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team while they were reportedly planning to rob a commercial bank in Asaba, Delta State.

The gang members who a general-purpose machine gun, six AK-47 rifles, 51 magazines, 1,620 rounds of live ammunition, two vehicles and charms were recovered from, were accused of collecting a Toyota Lexus and a 4Runner from their owners who were kidnapped in Owerri, Imo State and released after payment of N5m as ransom.

Abanara who was remanded in prison custody after being arrested by the IRT four years ago on robbery charges, allegedly took part in bank robberies in Lekki, Ikorodu, Festac and Agbara areas of Lagos where millions of naira were carted away.

Narrating how he joined the robbery gang, one of the dismissed soldiers Ayeni said; 

“I joined the Nigeria Army in 2003 and I was dismissed because I took part in an illegal duty. After my dismissal in 2014, I had no job then I was introduced to Millions (Abanara) who is in prison. He linked me up with his cousin Robinson. Millions said he wanted me to provide military cover during operations and I brought in my colleague, Ariston.

“We went for the operation in our uniforms. We were unlucky the bullion van escaped from the scene. I also took part in a robbery operation in Awka, Anambra, the next day and I got N150,000 as my share. I was arrested while we were making plans to rob another bullion van in Asaba.”

Robinson on the other hand disclosed they shot the policemen after being caught unawares. He further revealed that they proceeded to robbing a recharge card dealer of N7.5m and other valuables in Awka, Anambra after the failed bullion van robbery operation in Ebonyi state. 

The suspect who is a father of four also admitted taking part in the 2015 bank robbery in the Lekki area of Lagos of which he got a N5m cut. 

Robinson said; 

“I am from Gelegele Local Government Area of Edo State and I am married and have four children.  I was a logger before I went into illegal oil bunkering.  It was my cousin, Millions, who introduced me into oil bunkering. He is from my mother’s family.

 “I invested the N5m I got from the Lekki bank robbery in oil bunkering from. I was doing the ‘business’ when my friend, Sunday Soyemi, brought the Ebonyi State bullion van robbery. I called my cousin in prison and he gave me all the guidelines I needed for the operation.

“He connected me with the ex-soldiers and they participated in the operation. He advised us not to use our vehicles for the operation and we followed his instructions. Soyemi brought the guns and dynamite we used for the operation but the operation failed because we weren’t prepared at the time the bullion van got to our spot. We exchanged fire with the police escort and the van escaped.”

46-year-old Soyem also blamed the failed bullion van robbery on the policemen who opened fire on them. He said; 

“We weren’t prepared when the bullion van and the escort approached our location.  They opened fire on us and we shot back but the van escaped. We killed four of the policemen and left Ebony State immediately.

“We proceeded to Awka and robbed a man of N7.5m. We were in Asaba strategising on a bank to rob when the police swooped on us.”

Armed robbers have bombarded a branch of WEMA bank in Iyin-Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of Ekiti.

The six-man robbers arrived the town around 3.30pm and blasted the security doors with explosive devise suspected to be dynamite.

They carted away several millions in an operation, which lasted 40 minutes.

The robbery attack came barely 24 hours after the police raised the alarm some bandits were planning to invade the state and wreak havoc,

Eyewitness confirmed that the robbers had shot sporadically into the air to scare residents and traders at the nearby market before gaining entry into the banking hall.

The residents were said to have ran in different directions due to the severity of the gunshots, which sources said had sent jitters round the spines of those around.

Vehicles traveling across Ado-Iyin-Aramoko-Efon road had to take a detour to prevent being caught in the web of gunshots.

“In fact, the police disappointed us. They disappointed the people of Iyin today. The robbers robbed for over 40 minutes without any challenge.

“They came in two vehicles , shot into the air and scared the people around away. In fact, those in the nearby market left their commodities and ran for their lives.

“The police station along Igede Ekiti was not up to 500 metres while the police patrol point along Ado Ekiti should be a kilometre away, but none of them responded for over 40 minutes the robbers operated.

“But we thank God nobody was killed, but the agony of the gunshots was too much on the locals”.

Confirming the incident, Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, said the police upon receiving the information immediately visited the troubled spot.

“We got a distress call from Iyin Ekiti about the robbery and we immediately dispatched our men and officers to the place.

“I want to confirm to you that the robbers are being chased as I speak with you and the determination is to effect their arrest.

“We are assuring the people that the hoodlums shall be arrested and brought to justice. Ekiti is not a safe haven for robbers and that we shall continue to sustain”.

Abiola

Two children of the late MKO Abiola, Kassim and Aliyu, have spent nine days in the detention facility of the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Lagos over allegation of robbery.

Kassim and Aliyu were arrested in their father’s house at 42-46 MKO Abiola Crescent, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja, on September 2, following a robbery at the house in the wee hours of the same day.

The Abiola’s children have, however, sued the Commissioner of Police, demanding N100m in damages.

In the suit filed on their behalf by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, Kassim and Aliyu alleged that their arrest and detention were at the instance of their stepmother, Mrs Adebisi Abiola, who allegedly suspected them to have had a hand in the robbery attack.

In an affidavit filed in support of the suit, a litigation clerk in Ozekhome’s law firm, Ubong Ikon, said Kassim and Aliyu were picked up at their father’s house at about 11.45am on September 2 by fully armed SARS operatives, who forced their way into their apartments without any warrant of arrest.

Ikon said, “The applicants were tortured, totally humiliated, dehumanised and terrorised, with a crowd of people swarming the premises to witness the ugly scene in the home of MKO Abiola, former presidential aspirant of the Social Democratic Party.

“The applicants were informed that their arrest was based on an alleged complaint by one Mrs Adebisi Abiola, their stepmother, to the effect that a robbery incident took place in their home; that suspected armed men invaded the residence and carted away valuables, including money.

“The applicants were forcibly dragged like common criminals, more in form of abduction than arrest and roughly driven to the Ikeja police station.

“They were promptly detained without any record, howsoever. They were not given any opportunity to speak with anyone, let alone a lawyer.” Punch