Detectives of Intelligence Response Team (IRT), led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari, have smashed a syndicate that specialised in kidnapping and robbing people and demanding for ransom before freeing their captors.
The bursting of the gang which led to the arrest of five suspects, followed a directive from the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris to the team, as a result of series complaint by victims, about heinous activities of the gang.
It was gathered that the IGP specifically directed DCP Kyari in April 2018, to comb Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Kogi states, to fish out hoodlums terrorizing motorists and other people in those states.
Based on the directive, IRT detectives were said to have swung into action; and on the 4th of April 2018, they arrested one of the ring leaders of a kidnapping gang, Akinjide Ibitoye Orilakin 35. Crime Tracker gathered that Orilakin usually ferried robbed vehicles to Benin Republic for sale.
He was said to have been arrested along Ilaro in Ogun State, in a hideout close to the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic.
He confessed that one Olayide Atoyibe Dada, 36, was one of the receivers of vehicles robbed by his gang. He further confessed that Olayide promised to buy a gun for him, with which he planned to use and to rob a new Hiace bus from a pastor who usually go and pray on a mountain.
Further investigation revealed that on the 18th of April, 2018, another ring leader, one Olariwaju Joseph 33, also known as Machine, was arrested in Ipketumodu area of Osun State. Other suspects arrested by the IRT were Osai Amaechi Nelson, who was arrested at Ibadan toll gate, and Olatubosun Fisayo also called Alagbada who was arrested in Osun State.
“I am Olawale Olariwaju, 33-year, I am from Ado Ekiti area of Ekiti State. I am married with a child. I am an HND holder and I graduated in 2012. I studied Banking and Finance at Osun State polytechnic. I am a member of Eiye confraternity and I joined the cult in 2009, while I was in the school.
“After graduation, I had no job. So I went into plumping engineering in Rivers State. In 2013, my plumbing shop was gutted by fire in Port Harcourt, and I came back to Osun State.
“On December 27, 2013, I attended my old students association party, where I met one of my old friends known as Olaniyi Olakunle. He asked what I was doing for a living and told him that I had no job and my shop in Port Harcourt had gotten burnt. He said I could join him in smuggling business from Cotonou. The first time I went to his compound, I saw many vehicles and he asked me and one other person to take one of the vehicles to Eket in Akwa Ibom State. When we returned, he gave me N50,000 and said, the money was my driving fee.
“By January 2014, he called me and he said he had seven phones for me to sell and he gave them to me and I sold six and I kept one for myself. One day, he called me and said, we were going to Eket, but on our way he stopped at Oshogbo and he told me that he wanted to pick someone, but before I knew what was happening, he snatched a car at gun point and we took the car to Eket that night.
“The next day, I told him that I wasn’t comfortable with what he did and he told me that I must live with it and I am now part of the gang. He gave me N120,000 when we returned to Osun. Then the police tracked me with the phone I collected from him, and I was taken to Akure SARS. There, they asked me how I got the phone I told them it was my friend. When I led the policemen to his house, Olakunle jumped from his house and escaped. But his wife was arrested and released later on bail.
“The police took me to Eket where we arrested the person receiving the vehicles from Olakunle.
“I was later charged to court in Akure and remanded in Olokuta Prison for three years before I was granted bail.
While in prison, I met Amechi who told me that he was a receiver of stolen vehicles.
“After I was released from prison in March 2017, one of my younger brothers bought me a phone, and gave me an internet fraud format, and pictures of people I could impersonate. He encouraged me to go into internet fraud and shun armed robbery. I went into internet fraud, duped several people in United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada and the highest money I got from my victims was $270.
“In October 2017, I relocated to Ilesa where I met Fisayo Olatubosun, who was my secondary school classmate. He told me that he was already into armed robbery and that Emmanuel called and told me that he has a job for me in Akure. I knew Emmanuel in Akure Prison. We met in an uncompleted building and he brought one of his friends and we went to rob a man of his Corolla Sport, and took the car to Ilesa. Olatubosun fought me because l was driving the car around. During the fight, we destroyed the windscreen of the car. After that incident I left Olatubosun and policemen from A Division Ilesa came and towed the car away.
“By February 2018, I had a dream where Olatubosun was beating me and I called him and said we should reconcile. He was happy and he accepted my apology. By March ending, I received a call from Osai, he asked if I have a car for sale, I said no. Before then, I met Akin Ibitoye Orilakun through Emmanuel and we robbed a Toyota RAV 4 in Akure and Emmanuel told me that he had a buyer in Benin Republic, but Orilakun and Emmanuel started fighting and we took the car to Lagos to a guy known as Seun and we parked the car there.
“One guy, Sunday I don’t know his surname, in February, invited me to Kaba, Kogi State to rob a man, when we got to the man’s house the man was sleeping and we cut off the burglary and met his wife and children, and we stole N8milion from the house. But Sunday declared only N4million to us and I was given N800,000 as my share. I invested my share on my internet fraud business.”
Another of the gang members, Akin Ibitoye also revealed how he became a robber. “I am 35 years, from Eri in Osun State. I am married with four children. I was formerly a carpenter and my shop was demolished, so I went to Benin Republic to do business. There, I met one Obalola, who normally buy stolen vehicles and he said he wanted me to join his gang and linked me to a gang that normally supply cars to him.
“We robbed a Land Rover 1999 model and he gave us N350,000. But heard that Obalola had been arrested in Nigeria. One of my friends Emmanuel Ife, called and told me that he has a friend known as Wale, an armed robber. We robbed a RAV4 in Akure. They asked me to take the vehicle to my buyer, but l told them that my buyer had been arrested. Wale and his friend made away with the car.
I was once remanded in Olokuta Prisons in the 2016 and I spent one year and six months. After my release, I went to Benin Republic, where I went to steal a motorcycle. My hand was amputated. On the 8th of November, 2017, and we robbed a woman in her house at Apete area of Ibadan.
Obalola was still with us before he was arrested. He paid us N800,000 and we also called the woman and pretended to be vigilante who found the woman’s car in Ilara area of Ogun State and woman sent the sum of N50,000 to us.
“My name is Fisayo Olatubosun. I am 26 years. I am from Oso Local Government of Osun State.
“I went into crime in 2010. It was one of my elder brothers that sent me to a mechanic, and when I got to the mechanic, the police arrested me and asked who sent me to the mechanic and when police went after him, he had escaped. I later learned that he gave the mechanic a stolen vehicle to repair. I was charged to court and remanded in prison.
“While in prison, I was thought how to become a bigger criminal. I spent three years in prison and when I was released, I went into burgling of shops. Later, I went into burgling of houses. Last December, one of my childhood friends known as Olawale told me that he was also an armed robber. In fact, he asked that we go to Akure for a robbery operation, and we tenants in a house and took away a vehicle from the house.
“ I didn’t see him again until I was arrested.
“I bought my gun on January 16, 2018 from a Mallam, which I was using for robberies. I paid N22,000 for the gun.”
“Osai Amechi also exposed his road to robbery. “My name is Osai Nelson Amechi, 29, I am from Delta State and married with a child. I was a driver, I also worked at a bakery, but the bakery folded up. Then, I went into drug business in Benin, Edo State, where I met a guy known as Ikenna who asked him to drive a vehicle for him to Abuja. He paid me N40,000. Two months later he called me to drive a vehicle for him again, but when I got to him I was arrested and charged to court in Ondo State. I was remanded in prison where I spent over two years.
“I came out in 2016 and some boys called and told me that they have a car. I took the car and sold it to an Alhaji, for N600,000. I gave the boys N500,000 and I kept N100,000 for myself. They also brought another Highlander and I gave it to the same Alhaji, but he made away with vehicle. He didn’t pay us any money. Those boys became angry and they started threatening to kill me.
Before they got to me, the police got me arrested and they informed the police about me.
“On the day the police came for me, the boys called me to come out and receive a vehicle but before I went to them, I surveyed the area and discovered that they were with some police and I escaped. That was in 2016. I went back to Edo State and I started cultivating Indian Hemps. On April 19, one Olawale Joseph whom I met in Olokuta Prison, Akure who I told in March 2018, to look for any robbed vehicle for me, called me. As I went there, I was arrested.”
The last of the gang, Atoyebi Olayide a 36 years old man from Osun State says about his crime career, “I was a car dealer. I am also married with four kids. I was arrested because I used to buy stolen vehicles from armed robbers.
“I was arrested first in November, 2017, by SARS in Akure. They recovered five stolen vehicles from me and I was charged to court and remanded in prison. I spent less than two months and was released on January 12, 2018. I stopped doing the business, but in March, 2018, one of the boys who I used to buy stolen vehicles from called me and said one of his friends wanted to sell a stolen car. He said he would send my number to the guy, and that the guy will call me.”
“The person is Orilakun. He called me and told me about the car, a Toyota Camry. I told him that the customer I had does not need a Camry, but that I will help sell the car. I told him that there was a place in Ilesa I have seen some people coming to pray in a very neat Toyota Hiace bus. I would want him to rob the bus for me. He asked me to buy a gun for him. I saw a cultist, who wanted to sell his gun, later I saw somebody at the border who promised to bring one for him.”