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Offa robbery was planned in 2 days -Police

A Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin heard that the deadly April 5, 2018 robbery at Offa was conceived and planned by three persons within two days before execution.

Some 33 people including nine policemen were killed in the incident, which involved five commercial banks while an undisclosed sum of money was stolen from the banks. Five people are standing trial in the robbery case.

They are Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran. They are standing trial for charges with alleged armed robbery, illegal possession of fire arms and murder.

One of the prosecution witnesses in the case, Police Inspector Hitila Hassan, told the court he was one of the officers who investigated the incident and that the crime was conceived by the trio of Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye and late Michael Adikwu who also supplied the ammunition and led the robbery operation.

Mr Hassan, who was led in evidence by the private prosecutor, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, said the meeting for the robbery operation was held in Ajase-Ipo and Oro towns on April 2 and 3, 2018 respectively before it was executed on April 5, 2018.

The witness said it was the CCT video clip footage that gave out the identity of the persons that participated in the robbery operation in Offa.

Mr Hassan who is attached to the Intelligence unit of the IGP stated that he arrested the five accused persons that were standing trial in the case and that in the course of investigation, the police recovered three vehicles used in the operation: a Mercedes Benz Compressor belonging to Akinnibosun, a Volkswagen Audi 80 belonging to Adikwu and a Nissan Primera brought by other people that participated in the robbery but are now at large He also told the court that during investigation, Ibikunle Ogunleye confessed that he killed two of the robbery victims when they attempted to apprehend him while the operation was going on while Niyi Ogundiran and Adeola confessed that they killed two and five people respectively.

The police officer said two of the accused persons confessed that it was Adikwu who killed all the policemen because according to them, Adikwu shouted on top of his voice at the police station that “the Nigeria Police had offended him by dismissing him from service and he would take revenge.”

Earlier the first prosecution witness, Inspector Yusuf Dauda, had opened his evidence and tendered some ammunitions, vehicles and car sticker allegedly used in the operation.

Dauda, who said he was an exhibit keeper at the Kwara State Headquarters of the Nigeria Police, Ilorin disclosed that on April 10,2018, a former Divisional Police officer in Offa Local Government, CSP Danjuma Adamu handed to him some weapons and ammunition allegedly used in the robbery operation.

He listed the ammunition to include 39 expended 7.6mm ammunition, 4 expended 5.6mm, 2 expended blank cartridges, 4 used bullet, One life 5.6mm ammunition, one Catridge safety box on which Ikoyi South West, Lagos, Nigeria was written and a damaged Padlock.

He also said that on April 15, 2018, Inspector Hassan attached to the Inspector General of Police rescue team also brought one Lexus Jeep on which a sticker bearing “Saraki” was written with it key, a Compressor Mercedes Benz and four Stickers bearing “Saraki”.

The Prosecution tendered all the items as exhibits in the case. Justice Haleemat Salman adjourned the case for further hearing till February 19 and 20.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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