Offa Banks Robbery: Undercover agent reveals how principal  suspect’s statement was obtained


Stories by Kayode Adeoti

The Kwara State High Court, on Monday,  resumed trial of suspects who allegedly participated in the Offa Banks robbery with the prosecution witness, Inspector Olowe Ayodele, revealing how statement of the 1st defendant, Ayo Akinnibosun, was obtained.
Recall that the trial judge, Justice Haleeman Salman had ruled for trial-within-trial following the suspects’ claims that they were coerced and promised handsome reward to give the statements.
Other suspects facing trial are; Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
At the resumed trial on Monday, Ayodeji, who was led in evidence by lawyer Rasaq Bola Gold, informed the court that the 1st defendant’s claim was unfounded.
Ayodeji, who said he works as an undercover agent at the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of Police revealed that he was deployed to Kwara State by his boss, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Abba Kyari, to gather information on the robbery incident from members of the public.
He added that he got to the State about three weeks after the incident occurred, saying that his team was the second batch to be deployed for intelligence gathering over the robbery case.
The witness said, based on the information gathered concerning the 1st defendant, he was asked to take additional statement from him (Akinnibosun).
After reading the caution words to Akinnibosun, Ayodeji said he charged him with the allegation of criminal conspiracy, armed robbery and culpable homicide.
He further stressed that the statement was obtained from Akinnibosun under a very conducive atmosphere devoid of coercion and torture, adding that there were two fans and Air-condition in the office.
He also noted that he handed the statement over to Abbay Kyari who confirmed what was written was inline with the suspects’ position over the robbery.
The defendant’s counsel, Matthias Eberibe, who cross examined the witness, asked if Ayodeji could recall the exact date he was deployed to Kwara for the operation.
After responding that he could not remember the exact date, Eberibe sought if there was any form of attestation from Kyari after collecting the statement from the witness.
Justice Salman, in his short ruling, adjourned the suit for continuation of hearing to 24th and 25th of October, 2019 even as he posited that he’s not going to grant any further adjournment at the expense of the defendant’s counsel.
Recall that on the 5th of April, 2018, armed bandits took the ancient town of Offa by the jugular and brought it down to its knees.
The men of the underworld who on the fateful day operated in a commando style with sophisticated weapons attacked and robbed seven banks simultaneously  unhindered.
Eco Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank, GTBank, Union Bank, Stockcorps Micro Finance Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank were financial institutions robbed in an operation that began at about 5pm and lasted for more than an hour. No fewer than 33 persons including nine police officers were killed in the incident.
The robbers did not only steal, they killed and destroyed. They shot sporadically at everything in sight. By the time the dust raised by the incident had settled, scores of bodies littered the streets of Offa. The robbers left in their trail sorrow, tears and blood.

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