Offa robbery: Police arrest 12 more suspects, recover victims' phones
Success Nwogu, Adelani Adepegba and Tunde Ajaja
The police say they have arrested 12 additional suspects in connection with the April 5, 2018 bank robbery at Offa in Kwara State.
The police had earlier arrested eight suspects bringing the number of suspects in their custody to 20.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the police recovered from the suspects, phones, IPads and SIM cards belonging to those who were killed during the robbery. He added that the suspects all confessed to the crime.
Those arrested included Adegoke Shogo, 29; Kayode Opadokun, 35; Kazeem Abdulrasheed, 36; Azeez Abdullahi, 27; Alexander Reuben, 39; and Jimoh Isa, 28; who were both arrested in Lagos.
Others were Azeez Salawudeen, 20; Adewale Popoola, 22; Adetoyese Muftau, 23; and the trio of Aminu Ibrahim, 18; Richard Terry, 23; and Peter Kuunfa, 25; who were apprehended in Ilorin.
"These last three suspects were found with a Beretta pistol and 14 rounds of live ammunitions, which were recovered," Moshood stated.
Other exhibits recovered were Beretta pistol, 20 rounds of live ammunition, four phones and SIM cards.
He explained that an investigation team deployed in Kwara State by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, arrested the suspects, noting that some of them engaged the team in exchange of gunfire.
The Force PRO stated that the suspect named Shogo, alleged to be a drug baron and dealer in Indian hemp, was arrested in Offa.
He said, "According to intelligence gathered from cultivated and reliable informant, he is alleged to be one of the sponsors of the robbery and the attack on the police station in Offa. He has made useful statements on the roles he played in the armed robbery."
He also disclosed that Opadokun was released from prison three months ago after serving eight months of his sentence for armed robbery.
He added, "A Beretta pistol and six rounds of live ammunition were recovered from him. He has admitted to the criminal roles he played in the Offa bank robbery.
"Reuben, a native of Isoko Local Government Area of Delta State, is a notorious bank robber from whom GMPGs, rocket launchers and several rifles were recovered in 2015. He was released from prison in December 2017."
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum said it was shocked by the robbery incident and that it was unfortunate that innocent lives were lost. While commending the quick response of the police in arresting some of the suspects, the ACF, therefore, called on the Federal Government to equip the police to carry out its responsibilities more effectively.
The forum, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mohammed Ibrahim, on Friday, said, "While ACF urges the security agencies to always be proactive by constantly reviewing their security and intelligence gathering strategy to avert such ugly incident, we equally appeal to the Federal Government to provide the Nigeria Police Force with adequate trained police personnel, equipment and motivation in order to enhance their performance."
Also, the Chairman, Kwara Coalition of Business and Professional Association, Chief Hezekiah Adedeji, has said the recent attack was a setback for business and banking operations in the state. He said efficient security would improve commercial and banking activities as well as boost industrialisation in the state.