Five members of a six-man notorious armed robbery gang who had been on the wanted list of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja for their alleged roles in various serial killings of ten policemen in Lagos and Ogun states respectively have been arrested.
The gang's kingpin, Seun Adegboyega (aka Dada) was shot but later died while attempting to escape during an exchange of gunfire with the SARS operatives on Monday, November 26, 2012 at their Ikotun hideout on the outskirts of Lagos. Four others, Ejike Mbogu, Agbona Ekene, Ofule Paul and Gbenga Oni were however arrested.
The kingpin, Goke is still at large.
An AK47 rifle, ten AK47 rifle magazines, 1,500 live rounds of ammunition, a Toyota Highlander Jeep, marked KJA 402 AW (Lagos ), a Honda CRV Jeep, marked EKY 416 AU ( Lagos ) and a Toyota Camry Saloon Car, marked UC 264 KJA ( Lagos ) were recovered from the gang members. Ejike, who is the number two man in the gang, spoke on behalf of other members from the SARS detectives' cell.
"We killed ten policemen and had their guns (AK47 rifles) carted away from them. Five of the slain policemen were from Ogun state command, while the other five were from Lagos state command. In Lagos alone, we killed two policemen in Oko-Oba, one in Iponri and two others in Ejigbo area. Also, in Ogun state police command, two policemen were shot dead in Abeokuta and another three in Ibafo area", said Ejike, the 33-year-old suspect.
He said the ten rifles were converted to their various robbery operations on banks and Bureau De Change outlets in Lagos , Ogun, Ekiti, Kwara, Ondo, Kogi and Edo states respectively. Out of the ten guns, Ejike confessed, he took one (now recovered), while nine others, shared out among others, the detectives hinted, are still missing.
"On every big operation, especially bank raids, we usually merged with other gangs in a large number, at times almost 20 on every operation. We were all fully armed to the teeth, as we made use of dynamites and GPMG", confessed Ejike.
Briefing newsmen over the successful arrest of the six members on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Mr. Umar Manko, Lagos State Police Commissioner, disclosed that the suspects were responsible for series of deadly armed robbery attack in Lagos on Sunday, September 9, 2012 and in one of the raids on First Bank Plc, Share branch, Kwara state, several lives were lost and also police rifles were carted away by the rampaging robbers.
However, detectives hinted Ejike is a convict, who once served a jail term in Ikoyi Prison, Lagos for robbery before he regained his freedom through a questionable process.
The 33-year-old suspect blames his travails on unemployment.
"I suffered a lot because I had to engage in menial jobs before I could fend for myself and attend Government Technical College, Awka. Sadly enough, some unknown persons killed my mother and elder brother and as a result, I left the village and came to Lagos in year 2008 to stay with my half-brother.
"On January 5, 2009, I took to learning how to sell 'tokunbo' refrigerators at Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos. But, because the refrigerator business was not thriving, we had to close shop and I took to selling provisions. It was during that period I came across Segun. I liked his way of life because he spent lavishly.
He also assisted me in his own little way because at a time, he bought a motorcycle for me and told me to ride it and that anytime he wanted to use it, he would call me. Whenever they wanted to go out for a robbery operation, I would follow them. They would share the loot: N100, 000 among the leading members and offer me N30, 000.
We had a short working relationship because Segun quarrelled with other members of the gang and went away with our operational guns. We later learnt he relocated to Cotonou, Republic of Benin where he and Boma Eze went to rob and they were caught and sent to prison", said Ejike.
"Having gone away with the guns, Coach Kamoru, Alhaji's cousin took us to Cotonou to procure another set of guns. It was in Cotonou that we were told that, if we could get them a car, it would be exchanged with a gun free and N20, 000.
Again, in Cotonou , Kamoru and Shina met and they were working together. They snatched a car and instead of them to sell the car, they converted it to personal use and they were arrested by the police. They mentioned my name and I was arrested.
Subsequently, they were taken to Ebute-metta Magistrate Court , Lagos, where they were sent to Ikoyi Prison on remand. It was in Ikoyi they came in contact with Dada. Dada narrated how he and his gang members had been involved in series of robbery operations in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, and how he was arrested by the Anti-Robbery Unit of Epe Divisional Police Station, Lagos and later attempted to bribe an officer with a car to secure his release.
When he could not meet up, he said the man transferred him to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Street , Yaba, Lagos , for further investigation. "Dada told us that the officer revealed the secret of their mode of operations to the SCID detectives and he was arraigned in court", narrated Ejike.
What led to the latter's arrest was when Dada was about to be released but in the process of meeting the bail condition, information filtered through to the detectives attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja, who waded in, and prevented the bail process.
"He was requested to be transferred to the SARS office where it was confirmed he was the most wanted man in their list. Thus, his confessions led to our arrest", added the 33-year-old suspect.