How Police Arrested Alleged Cross-Border Robbery Gang
Bendossou Celestine, a 57 year old man from Benin Republic who was alleged to be a notorious cross-border armed robber has been arrested by the Oyo State Police Command after several robbery attacks.
Before his arrest, he and other members of his gang had thought they were invincible.
To him and members of his gang, the proverb which says all days are the thief but one day is for the owner was nothing but mere wishful thinking that would never come to play in their own case.
But, their oracle seemed to have fallen into a deep sleep when the long arms of the law caught up with them.
While parading the suspect along with other suspected criminals at the state police headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade said the arrest of the suspects was as a result of their renewed effort to dislodge criminal elements and dismantle their operational bases in the state.
He told Vanguard how the suspects were arrested through effective intelligence.
He said, “a criminal gang of cross border hoodlums domiciled in the neighbouring Benin Republic stretched their luck too far when they clandestinely entered the state and unleashed mayhem on innocent citizens.
They did this by snatching at gun point a Toyota Corolla with registration number BDG 238 DR from one Kafo Musiliu at Odo Ona area of Ibadan”.
The same gang, according to him, also snatched from one Dr. Alonge Funto , a Toyota Hilux vehicle marked LSR 261 SB at Elebu area of Ibadan. “Our response time was put to test when a report of the robbery was made to us.
In a jiffy, our combat-ready operatives were mobilised. In a determined and unrelenting spirit, the policemen engaged the fleeing robbers in a fierce battle at various points.
During the exchange of fire, one of the armed robbers was hit by a bullet on the left hand and was subsequently arrested while trying to escape to Benin Republic. Others escaped with bullet wounds.
The undying spirit of the command coupled with operational dexterity of our detectives led to the recovery of the two stolen vehicles in Cotonou, Benin Republic”.
Items allegedly recovered from the gang include two vehicles without number plates, a pair of female shoes, some mechanical tools, an identity card and a black bag.
The suspect, Celestine, who looked menacing with his grey beard confessed to the crime saying his condition led him into robbery.
Also cooling their heels in the police custody were suspected kidnappers who are believed to be Fulani men.
They were said to have been arrested with the support of the intelligence network put in place by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.
About a fortnight ago, the IGP told Governor Abiola Ajimobi that his men from Abuja had succeeded in arresting the notorious kidnappers who had been terrorising the South West states especially Oyo State.
Narrating how the suspects were rounded up, CP Oyebade said the six-man gang was rounded up at Okeho in Oke Ogun area of the state. He quoted the suspects as saying they were responsible for a series of kidnapping activities in several places in the state.
The suspects were identified as Muhammed Sanni, Abubakar Abubakar, Damahayah Gambo, Usman Saidu and Hassan Saidu. Mr. Pelumi Ariyibi who claimed to be a 400-level student of Bowen University, Iwo in Osun State was also arrested for alleged internet fraud.
The innocent looking young man allegedly opened a fake Facebook account purportedly belonging to Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, wife of the state governor , Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
The CP alleged that the suspect had the intention to defraud innocent and unsuspecting members of the public on the wall and time line of the fake Face-book account by requesting them to pay certain amounts into his bank account-2020524644.
He was said to have lied to many people informing them of non-existent women empowe-rment programme and car loan schemes of the first lady. Pelumi confessed to the crime and told Vanguard how she opened the fake Facebook to defraud people.
He said, “ I opened a new Face-book account in the name of Mrs Ajimobi by searching for her pictures on Google which I later uploaded on the account. I then posted on the wall and time line of the account two schemes – Women Empowerment Programme and Car Loan Scheme.”
When asked how many people he had defrauded, he said four persons had contacted him but were yet to make any payment.
“Initially, I contacted a woman about a woman empowerment programme going on in Oyo State and she promised to get back to me. She was the only one I contacted concerning the empowerment programme.
I then made it public on the time line that there is a car loan scheme going on with which the governor and his wife intend to compensate the people of Oyo State for their loyalty and faithfulness towards his administration. “A woman contacted me first and asked about the details.
I told her that the kind of car she wants would determine how much she would pay as deposit.