Leaders of the robbery gang that carried out the attack that resulted in the death of 33 people in Offa, Kwara state, have confessed to how they were involved in the operation.
Nine police officers and 24 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 robbery incident happened, 22 suspects have been arrested and were finally presented to the press during a media briefing on Sunday, June 3, 2018.
Force Public Relations Officer, ACPJimoh Moshood, disclosed that five of the gang leaders have made confessional statements where they admitted to their roles in the bloody robbery that shocked the country two months ago.
According to him, the main gang leaders are Ayoade Akinnibosun (aka, AY), Ibikunle Ogunleye (aka Arrow), Adeola Abraham, Salawudeen Azeez, and Niyi Ogundiran, all indigenes of Oro, Irepodun local government area of Kwara.
The other major leader of the operation is Michael Adikwu, a former police corporal, who killed a total of 22 people during the robbery incident. Adikwu was attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Kwara State command before he was dismissed in 2012 for aiding the escape of some robbery suspects. He was arraigned in court and spent about three years in prison before he made his way out and created his own gang.
According to ACP Moshood, the biggest gang leader, AY, named Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, as his gang's political sponsors.
Some of the gang leaders were allowed to be questioned by the press and they shed light on the issues surrounding the robbery operation including the fact that it was the first time many of them were engaging in such a crime.
Read their confessions below:
Ibikunle Ogunleye, aka, Arrow
36-year-old Ogunleye confessed to killing two people during the robbery incident. He revealed that he was only informed of the robbery three days before the operation.
He said, "It was the gang leader, Ayo, that introduced this robbery to me and I later spread it to Ade to inform the two mechanics (other gang leaders). Three days to the incident, that was when the gang leader invited us."
Ogunleye also disclosed that he killed two people during the robbery incident because Adikwu, the ex-police officer, was disturbing him.
He said, "The two people I killed was out of fear because I was being disturbed when the whole thing was going on. The dismissed police officer, Michael (Adikwu), was shouting that day that the Nigerian police dismissed him, that they collect job from his hand, that he'll do them shege. That was the language he used."
While noting that the Offa incident was his first robbery operation, he said Adikwu also trained the group in the use of firearms at Ajase-Ipo, Kwara, a day to the robbery.
35-year-old Abraham led a team of robbers to GTB during the operation and revealed to the press that he killed five people because he was stoned by members of the public outside the bank.
He said, "When we're in operation, they start to attack us with stone, civilian people, outside the bank. I was in the front of the bank when they started shouting 'thief, thief' and started carrying the stone, threw the stone and then the stone knack (hit) me, that is why (I killed them)."
37-year-old Akinnibosun has been identified as the man that coordinated the operation after working with Adikwu. While speaking to the press, he narrated how the operation started in Offa after he received guns from Adikwu.
He said, "That fateful day, it was me, this man sitting beside me here (Ogunleye), Adex, Stand Well Well, and Niyi; it was the five of us. I came to join them at Ajase then we took off with a Mercedes Benz to Offa.
"On getting there I now positioned everybody; me I stood at that junction, that Total filling station there. On getting to that filling station, we now met that Michael, that dismissed police officer. On getting to meet Michael, Michael came down from one Audi, there was a Nissan parked in front of us, he now came out of that Audi and threw his hands we now saw him and parked at the back of that Nissan. He now came out and brought guns out of that Nissan, five AK-47s, and gave it to us. Then I shared it between the five of us inside our Benz."
He also named the senate president and Kwara governor as his political sponsors whom he's done 'political arrangements' for for years .
He said, "I am the chairman of Liberation Youths Movement, Kwara South. My involvement with the senate president is we're his boys; we work for him at Kwara South. We're the ones that hold Kwara South for him. We've been working for him since he was Governor of Kwara.
"We mobilise and do political arrangement there (Kwara South). For example, where we can't win, we make dabaru (disruptive) arrangement there; we scatter elections if we don't win.
"The connections between me and the senate president is that he's the one that is arranging everything for us. For example, this car (a Lexus jeep GX-300) was given to me by His Excellency (Governor Ahmed) through the Chief of Staff of Kwara state as a gift from leader, Bukola Saraki. I participated in the Offa robbery. I took this Lexus car along to Offa.
"The senate president and governor of Kwara state (Ahmed), we have been their political thugs, and that's what encouraged us to do what we're doing.
Even though Akinnibosun noted that their alleged sponsors didn't know about their robbery plans, Chief of Staff to Governor Ahmed, Yusuf Abdulwahab, and his personal assistant on politics, Alabi Olalekan, are two of the 22 suspects who have been arrested in connection to the robbery incident.
Salawudeen Azeez was presented as a gang leader involved in the robbery operation. Azeez disclosed that he was introduced to the gang while repairing a car for them. The mechanic killed two people during the operation.
Two witnesses remain at large
In a statement signed by ACP Moshood on May 4, 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 Ogunleye were two of those suspects, and have been arrested since then, 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.