As fresh facts begin to emerge about the Ikorodu banks robbery operation where N80 million was reportedly carted away a fortnight ago, one of the suspects has revealed that they planned the operation at a meeting that lasted 30 minutes.
It was also discovered that 12 members of the gang were recruited from the Niger Delta region.
This is just as the four suspects arrested in connection with the operation, which lasted close to two hours, have confessed that their gang was responsible for similar operations at Ijede road three weeks before that of Ipakodo also at Ikorodu, and that of Lekki, where five persons, including three policemen, were killed.
The arrested suspects include Omoboye, alias Alarm blow, 39; Bright, 25; Ikuesan, 37, and Abiwa, 20.
The bank robbery, according to Bright, was carried out by an 18-man gang. Bright, a graduate of English/Christian Religious Study, CRS, from the College of Education, Ekiadolor, Edo State, said a meeting with members of the gang, chaired by the gang’s leader, whose identity he gave as Million, was held in Abule area of Lagos same day the operation was carried out.
The father of two said: “Million is our leader. I was introduced to the gang by a friend named Akpan. I joined because I had no means of feeding my family. I am a wood logger, but business has been bad.
“Akpan took me to the gang’s meeting same day of the operation, on June 24, at Abule Ishawo area of Ikorodu. Those of us from Lagos included myself, M. O., Kelvin, S. K. Careboy and Million, while the rest were recruited from Warri, Delta State, by Million.
“He also brought eight rifles and two pump action guns from Warri, including the two operational vehicles. He taught us how to aim at our targets during the meeting, which lasted 30 minutes, with each of us instructed on what to do on reaching the venue.
“My role was to stand outside, with one of the pump action guns, shooting sporadically. I was also instructed to shoot at anyone who dared to intrude, while the boys recruited from Warri confronted the police.
“I had over 900 cartridges. At the end of the operation, we escaped in a fibre boat and went to the creeks, where the loot was shared. At the creeks, we analysed the operation and Million said we did well, promising to use us for subsequent operations.”
‘I got N2m’
“I was not allowed to go near where the money was counted. Million and other leaders counted the money. But Akpan told me they got N80 million. I was given N2 million.
“I bought a Lexus SUV for N1.5 million and I gave my wife N30,000 to enrol for an exam. I also gave some of my friends out of it and also bought jerry cans for my brother, who is a pipeline vandal.
“Million instructed those from Warri to set the operational vehicles ablaze before leaving the scene. That was after the numbers plates were removed.
“He collected the cost of the cars from the loot before sharing the rest among us. That was my first time of joining them. I did not go with them to the Lekki and Ijede banks operations.”
Lekki, Ijede’s robbery operation
On his part, Omoboye, a boat operator, said that he conveyed the gang to all the three bank operations.
Omoboye, popularly known as Baba Ibeji, said he was given N400,000 from Lekki’s operation and N2 million each from the Ijede and Ipakodo bank robberies.
He said: “At the end of the last bank operation at Ipakodo, my boat developed a fault as we were escaping. If the police had come after us, they would have arrested some of us. But the leader of the gang called another boat operator to take us.
“On reaching their hideout at Abule Ishawo, they did not allow us in because we were considered strangers that could sell them out to the police.
“I got N400,000 from the Lekki operation, N2 million from the Ijede’s and N2 million from the Ipakodo operation.
“We are into illegal oil bunkering; we vandalise pipelines and also rob people in the creeks. I have two wives and five children, but my wives do not know I am into armed robbery.
“I bought a Lexus SUV for N1.15 million, four days after the last operation.”
More details of the operation revealed
Giving an account on the operation, Agbojole, who said they were boys in the gang, told reporters that their leaders were Million and Kakado.
Agbojole claimed that he was contacted a week to the operation, adding that he joined because of poverty.
According to Agbojole, he was a timber worker at Ebute-Metta before joining the group.
Asked about the woman, was who was said to have led the gang, Agbojole said: “There was no woman in the group. Our leaders are Million and Kakado.
“We planned the operation from Ishawo creeks. Million and his men came to us and told us about the operation. Million brought guys from Warri.
“It was from the creeks that we planned the whole thing and this is my first operation with them. I was among those who kept watch along the road. I was given a Pump Action gun. We had eight guns and two Pump Action rifles.
“I am a student of College of Education, Ekiadolor. I did not follow them to Lekki or any other robbery but I know it was the gang that attacked those banks.
“I do not know how much was gotten because it was the leaders who counted and shared the money. My share was N2million from where I bought a Lexus jeep for N1. 5million; I bought jerry can for my brother to start oil bunkering; gave my wife N30, 000 for her JAMB exam and also gave my friends money.
“I was arrested in Ikorodu, where I live. My friend Akpan called me and I didn’t know that it was because the police were looking for me.”
Omoboye, a boat operator, said he usually ferried the gang for their operations.
He confessed that he had participated in all the robberies, adding that he received N400,000 for the Lekki robbery, N400,000 for Ijede and N2million for the Ogolonto attack, totalling N2.8m.
He said the group usually lodged close to their targets, noting that for the Lekki attack, they camped in Epe.
“We went to Epe area and lodged there. I was the boat operator and I drove them in all the operations. I don’t usually leave the boat and one or two men are left to stay with me because the gang will contact them and they will alert me when it’s time to move.
“I was contacted about one month after the Lekki operation and informed of the Ijede attack, I got N400,000 each from Lekki and Ijede. But for the Ebute business, I was given N2million.
“I was not the one they called on the telephone. It was one of their men before we rode to the jetty side to carry them. My boat is a fibre boat. I usually take them to the creeks in Ishawo but they don’t allow us close to where they share money.
“Our business in the Creek is illegal bunkering, pipeline and armed robbery. I took part in all the robberies because I was their boat operator.
“Yes I am married with five children but my wife does not know what I do,” he said.
He claimed that he operated a gun boat, whose owner contacted him to carry the armed robbers when their boat broke down in February.
“I am not a member of the group but I know I have carried them once. I was contacted by the owner of the gun boat to carry them because their boat broke down in the water.
“The owner was given N400,000 but he gave me N180, 000 and Baba Ibeji added N10,000, making N190, 000. I have never followed them for any operation.”
Briefing reporters, Aderanti said: ”So, on June 26, one of the armed robbers, Promise Abiwe, was traced to Igbokoda in Ondo State where he was arrested.
“On June 28, one of the key members of the gang Monday Omoboye (aka Alarm Blow) was arrested in his hideout in Ikorodu.
“The said Monday is the boat operator who drove their speedboats in both the Lekki on June 1 and the robberies on June 24.
“On June 29, at about 4pm, one Agbojule Bright was traced to another hideout and was arrested with the Lexus Jeep, which he bought from his own share of the loot.
“These armed robbers have confessed to various armed robbery attacks both on water and highways across the country. Further investigations geared towards arresting the remnants of the gang is in progress.”