By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Operatives of the Inspector General of Intelligence Response Team (IGP-IRT) have arrested a Police Traffic Officer over the missing service pistol of a former Station Officer in charge of Omu-Aran Division, which he later sold to suspected cult members.
The police traffic officer, identified as Haruna Yusuf, 38, was arrested along side six suspected cultists named Tajudeen Olalekan Hammed ,Chukwudi Eze ,Alebo Elijah ,Alebo Isreal , Abimbola Olaonipekun and Olarinde Abiodun .
Haruna, who had confessed to the crime, according to report has narrated how he stole the pistol,belonging to the former Station Officer in charge of Omu Aran Divisional Police Station Ehigimetor Ileso and sold to suspected cult members in Kwara State Town.
It was gathered that the former Station Officer was eventually dismissed from the Force over the missing pistol,which eventually led to his death after a year later .
Haruna was arrested by the operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team ( IRT),Oshogbo following a report that some suspected cult members were coming from Kwara State to unleash mayhem on Osun State .
Haruna Confessed that ” I joined the police as a constable in 2008 .I am from Benue State but I have been serving in Kwara State ,since I was enlisted .I was first posted to Omu Aran Division and later transferred to other divisions in Kwara bit I am now back in Omu Aran.”
The traffic officer,who claimed not to have stolen the pistol,which he sold to the cult members said ” I didn’t steal .I don’t know what came over me .I saw the pistol at the mosque “
” I can only say that I am sorry .Out of the two arms that I sold to him ,one belonged to the Omu Aran Divisional Police Station ,while the other one was locally-made .That one that belonged to the division,I saw it outside of the mosque behind the police station.”
He also added that ” I didn’t know that it belonged to the SO It was about three years ago . I got the locally made pistol in Benue State .The person ,who sold it to me is dead now.We went for a burial and he was talking about selling it and somebody directed him to me .I bargained with him and bought it from him .”
“When I picked the gun ,it didn’t occur to me to take it to the station ,despite the fact that I know that it was not valuable to me .I didn’t know that I was going to be using it for .I don’t know what actually came over me .I mistakenly sold the gun .”
” Before God and man,I have never been involved in any selling or stealing gun before The SO is late .now .Later I heard that the division was looking for the gun .I was afraid to recover it and hand it over to the armourer.”
The police officer added that ” I sold the guns to a Disk Jocker ( DJ) in my area .He has a shop around the Traffic Junction in Omu Aran,where I serve .I didn’t know that he was a cult member. I sold the locally made pistol to him at #25 000 ( twenty five thousand naira” and the English pistol at #47000( forty seven thousand naira “
On how he felt ,when the late SO was been tried for the missing pistol,the suspect said “Before God and man, the trial process was going on .I was not at the division.i was not aware .I only knew that he was arrested .I feel very sorry .”
One of the suspects, Eze, in his own confession said ” I am 33 years old from Enugu State .I am a DJ and I also sell phone accessories at Traffic Junction .I bought the guns from the police officer for self – defence because of the nature of my work .”
” I bought the two guns from him and later ,I discovered that I could not use that police pistol ,I sold the two to “Rector” ,who is a student of Kwara State Polytechnic .I didn’t want to lose my money and somebody connected Rector to me .’
He also said that “I know Sergeant Haruna at the Traffic Junction,where my shop is .He is always there to control traffic .I have never used the gun for any operation .I just bought it for self – defence .”
A police source however said that the Eze is a strong member of the Aiye Confraternity in Omu Aran despite the fact that he is not a student of any higher institution of learning in the state .”
Olalekan, popularly known as Rector ,a student of Kwara State Polytechnic and one of the leaders of Aiye Confraternity in the school,in whose possession some of the arms were recovered said that he bought the arms for the Temple” — the code name for the assembly of Aiye members .
The Sagamu Ogun State born suspect confessed to being a cult member and claimed to have been initiated into the cult by a former student of the school,who had promised to help him ..
Rector ,who claimed to be a Higher National Diploma ( HND 2) Business Administration student of Kwara Polytechnic said ” I am 23 years old .I am from Sagamu in Ogun State . I am a student of Kwara State Polytechnic. I am studying Business Administration.”
He confessed that ” I am a cult member .I am a member of the Neo Black Movement of Africa , popularly known as Aiye Confraternity .I am the Foreman for Aiye in Kwara Polytechnic .I have not killed anyone in my life .We bought the guns for the Temple for self defence ..Since we bought it ,we have not fought with any group. ”
” I have been a member since 2016 I was introduced to the cult group by a senior school mate ,David .He is no more in Nigeria now .I didn’t know him before .He just walked up to me and said that he wanted to help me .That was how I was initiated .”
Exhibits recovered from the gang include :1 police baretta pistol ,1 locally- made revolver pistol, 2 locally fabricated pistol,1 local cut- to -size short gun , 11 live cartridges ,5 knives ,3 battle axes and 1 cutlass.
The Osun State Commissioner of Police ,Wale Olokode confirmed the arrest of the police Sergeant and the cult members to newsmen