The Nigeria Police Force has shed a little bit more light on how Michael Adikwu, a former police officer
Nine police officers and 24 others lost their lives when a group of around 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, Kwara State on April 5, 2018.
Even though Adikwu was arrested in Kwara in May, he was never paraded to the media like all the other suspects arrested in connection with the robbery, fueling speculation that he had been killed, speculations dismissed by the Police.
However, Police authorities confirmed this week that Adikwu has died in custody, leading to public outcry as to the circumstances of his death.
To clear the air on what happened, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, disclosed in a statement on Thursday, November 22, 2018, that the suspect died after slumping in detention.
"Michael Adikwu was not murdered but slumped and died in detention while investigation into the Offa Bank Robbery was ongoing," he said.
"There is a post-mortem examination result in respect of the death of Michael Adikwu," he added.
Adikwu was attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Kwara State Police 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 in unclear circumstances.
Why Adikwu killed police officers, others
Adikwu allegedly confessed to killing 22 people during the bloody robbery incident because he was bitter over how he was dismissed from the police force. According to confessions from other suspects, Adikwu led the attack on the police station to kill police officers.
Fellow suspect, Ibikunle Ogunleye, aka Arrow, had previously told police officers that Adikwu led a team of four to the station and single-handedly killed all the nine officers that were victims of the attack.
Ogunleyeis 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."
When he was paraded by the police on June 3, 2018, Ogunleye said Adikwu was loudly proclaiming his resentment for the force while the Offa robbery operation was going on.
He said, "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."
Adikwu supplied guns for Offa robbery
37-year-old Ayoade Akinnibosun, who has been identified to be the man that coordinated the operation, also confessed that Adikwu provided the gang some of the firearms used for the robbery.
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."
Ogunleye also disclosed that it was Adikwu who trained the group in the use of firearms at Ajase-Ipo, Kwara, a day to the robbery.