Reports have emerged that the Offa bank robbery that led to the death of dozens in Kwara state was led by Michael Adikwu, a former police officer who was dismissed years ago.
Nine police officers and dozens of others lost their lives when a group of at least 30 armed robbers attacked Union Bank, Eco Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank,as well as the Owode Police Station in Offa on April 5, 2018.
Since the incident happened, police officers have arrested 22 suspects including Adikwu, a former police corporal who was attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Kwara State command before he was dismissed in 2012.
Adikwu was dismissed for aiding the escape of some robbery suspects and was arraigned in court and spent about three years in prison before he made his way out and created his own gang.
According to a report by The Punch, Kunle Ogunleye, aka Arrow, another suspect who was arrested recently, has confessed that it was Adikwu who masterminded the operation and led the assault on the police station.
Arrow is quoted to have said, "I was among the three people that entered the police station with Adikwu, but I didn't shoot or kill anyone. It was Adikwu that shot and killed all the policemen. He went from one office to the other, killing everyone. We only gave him cover."
The report indicates that Adikwu himself has told operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Teams (IRT) that he deliberately killed police officers during the operation as an outlet for his bitterness at being dismissed from the force.
According to a police source who spoke to The Punch, Adikwu confessed to leading the assault on the police station before moving on to each of the banks which were being robbed to issue orders.
The source said, "Adikwu led the first team to enter the police station, while others stayed outside. He confessed he led the three gang members into the station. The four of them walked into the station like they came to lodge a complaint. They concealed their rifles in their clothes and immediately they entered the police station premises, Adikwu opened fire and killed the station guard. He confessed to killing nine people in the police station and carried their rifles.
"They confessed to have taken tramadol and other drugs before embarking on the operation. They killed over 30 people on that day.
"After the operation, he went to each of the banks which were being robbed to issue orders. He was captured on CCTV shouting at his members, telling them what to do and what not to do."
The source also said Adikwu has been threatening to kill even more police officers if given the opportunity. It was also revealed that the robbery team had embarked on three surveillance missions to Offa where they carefully studied their targets before the robbery.
Two witnesses remain at large
In a statement released by Force Public Relations Officer, ACPJimoh Moshood, on May 4, 2018, he released the pictures of four suspects who were placed at the scene of the crime and declared them wanted with a bounty of N5 million placed on their heads by the Kwara state government.
Adikwu and Arrow were two of those suspects, meaning the other two remain at large as investigations continue into the tragedy of the Offa robbery.
The suspects have been placed on the watch list of the International Police and members of the public have been encouraged to contact with any information that could lead to their arrests on these hotlines: 08062080913, 08126285268, 08032365122, 07056792065, and 08088450152.