By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The police in Lagos have arrested at least 20 suspected armed robbers and three cultists within the metropolis in the last two weeks.
The suspects were arrested during series of raids of criminal hideouts by policemen attached to the Lagos State Police Command.
The suspects, according to the state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, were arrested between April 8 and last week Sunday.
Egdal while giving a breakdown of the arrests, said Damilola Oluwole, 27, Seyi Adebayo and Olasupo Jeremiah were apprehended on April 8, following complaint from the management of AB Hotel at Shogunle that the premises was attacked by armed robbers.
He said the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) operatives from Mushin were directed to fish the culprits, which they did within 24 hours.
The police boss added that a locally made pistol, one expended and five live cartridges from robbers’ hideout at Akala, Mushin.
Also, he said four other suspected armed robbers were arrested on April 17, at about 11am, while they were about to sell a Highlander Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) they snatched at gunpoint.
” Operatives of FSARS at Mushin were dispatched and thy intercepted the suspects. The team arrested one Olamilekan Lamidi alias Dudu with the said vehicle at Ogunsanga Street, Mushin.
They followed up on the case and arrested Yusuf Jimoh, 36, Isah Ogungbenro, 29, Sulaiman Osayemi, 28, and Seun Shoneye, 29.
One of the suspects, Osayemi led detectives to Idi-Araba where a Toyota Highlander SUV, three locally made short guns and eight live cartridges were recovered”, he explained.
Further he said, ” On April 20, at about 5:30pm, one Raphael Oluwanisola of 1, Adeniyi Castro Street, Alagbado was arrested along Ile-Iwe Road, Meiran.
They flagged down a man carrying a bag on a motorcycle. Upon questioning him, he said he was a thrift collector and attempted to bribe the policemen with N5,000.
The officers refused the offer and suspected something was wrong. He immediately jumped down from his motorcycle and started running but he was pursued, apprehended and his bag searched. Three locally made cut-to-size pistols and 11 cartridges werw recovered from him.
Similarly on April 14, at about 6:20pm, a credible information was received from a member of the public that an armed robbery gang planned to strike at Ijora-Badia.
“Directives were given to a team of FSARS operatives at Ladipo to annul the plot and arrest the suspects. Tejumola Yekini, 29, Olowokere Blessing, 20, Leke Oni, 27 and Yaya Garba, 17, were arrested at the scene and a locally made gun recovered from them.
“The command also received credible information that Aiye and Eiye secret cult groups were engaging in acts of violence and brazenly displaying their weapons of violence in public.
“Consequently, a team of FSARS operatives were directed to go after the cultists and suspects, Ishola Rilwan alias Ifakun, 26, Adeyemi Ariori alias White, 24, and Garfar Hammed, 23, were arrested. A locally made pistol and four live cartridges were recovered from them.”
Also, on March 21, one Adebayo Olubisi and Ilesanmi Babatunde were attacked by armed robbers and had their phones and other valuables stolen.
Edgal said; “In view of this, a team of SARS operatives from the Ladipo annex led by Inspector Yemi Ojumola moved to the scene and arrested two suspects namely Olarenwaju Ibrahim, aged 39 and Rasheed Adeyemi, aged 25.
“Recovered from the suspects were one locally made pistol, four expended live catridges, one Bajaj motorcycle with registration number DE992XE used during the robbery.
“During investigation, the suspects confessed that the gun they used in the robbery was given to them by one Archibong Kufre, aged 25.
“The said Archibong has been arrested and he is helping the police in investigation. The case is still being investigation while efforts are being intensified to arrest others members of the gang.”
Also arrested in a separate incident were one Noah Olaniyi, Moshood Fatai, Segun Ajibade and Abiola Ige while attempting to sell their stolen loots; two laptops, one IPad and three handsets, to one Lukman, the receiver of stolen goods.
The CP said a search warrant was executed at the receiver’s house and three additional laptops were recovered from him.
The suspects confessed that they were members of the same gang but mentioned one Saheed, who is currently at large, as the owner of the gun used in their operations.
Meanwhile, one Barrister Arowole Gabriel, who had earlier reported the theft of his electronic gadgets from his shop in Mushin, has identified the recovered items as his.
This prompted a fresh quizzing of the receiver and he confessed that one Azeez, also currently at large, sold the laptop to him.
He said all arrested suspects would be charged to court for prosecution.