…family sources reveal past criminal exploits
*Father keeps mum
*How 18-yr-old gang member was nabbed at popular hotel in Ilorin
*Amidst bullets rain, we hid inside bank basement – Microfinance officials narrate narrow escape
By Adebayo Olodan, Mumini Abdulkareem, Ahmed Ajikobi and Kayode Adeoti
Released from prison three months ago after serving only eight months of his jail term for armed robbery, he was however arrested few days ago in connection with Offa Banks robbery and a barrette pistol and six (6) rounds of live ammunition recovered from him.
He was described by the police as a notorious 35-year-old armed robber who has opened up on the roles he played in the bloodletting incident, which led to the reported death of over 30 policemen and civilians in penultimate Thursday’s robbery attack in Offa. The suspect is Kayode Opadokun, an indigene of Offa and the first and only son of former Secretary of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Chief Ayo Opadokun.
In a telephone interview with this medium last night, a member of the family who does not want his name in print disclosed that Kayode for years has remained a pain in the neck for his activist father.
According to the family source, Kayode’s father almost disowned him for being the ‘black sheep’ in the family but for the intervention of relatives.
“Being an activist, Chief Opadokun left his three children and only wife, who retired as headmistress in Offa, while he was based in Lagos.
“I think part of the problem was that he had little time to check on them, especially during the Gen Sani Abacha’s regime when members of NADECO were often arrested.
“Kayode is the second child and the first and only son of his father. Suddenly, he started smoking Indian hemp and taking alcohol among other things, a development that got his parents worried especially his father who at a time almost disowned the boy but for the intervention of relatives,” he disclosed.
Speaking further, the source said Kayode’s parents secured admission for him at a private university in the country but he dropped out of school.
Offa Banks Robbery: Son of NADECO chieftain, Ayo Opadokun among arrested suspects
“I learnt he later gained admission into Kwara State College of Education, Oro but I was informed he never completed his studies there too.
“There is also a report that his father gave him the sum of N2.5million to start up a business not long ago,” he divulged.
The family source added that Kayode was at a time arrested for being in possession of a gun while being engaged as body guard to a prominent politician in Offa.
“His (Kayode’s) arrest then got people talking on why the son of a prominent family and NADECO chieftain will stoop so low to the extent of working as bodyguard for anyone.
“His father was not happy either. Whether he ended up disowning him, that I cannot say but all I know is that his parents are still together and I was told about three weeks ago that Kayode attended the wedding of his younger sister in Offa,” he submitted.
Similarly, a schoolmate of Kayode at COED, Oro, who does not want to be named, said that the suspect did not write his final exams having stayed away from the examination hall in 2010.
“Then, Kayode was never an armed robber but the leader of the Aiye confraternity in the school. He had to stay away from his final exams in 2010 because he had issues on campus then.” he said.
However, several efforts to get the reaction of father of the suspect, Chief Ayo Opadokun to speak on the arrest of his son, proved abortive.
The NADECO chieftain did not respond to calls put through his mobile phone, neither did he react to text message sent to him.
Below is the excerpt of the text message sent to him;
“Good morning sir, I am Mumini Abdulkareem from National Pilot Newspapers. Sir, our condolence to the people of Offa including your honoured self over the armed robbery attack.
Sir, we understand Kayode Opadokun, who is one of those arrested by the police over the incident is one of your sons.
Sir, what is your comment and advice on this sir. Many thanks sir and our highest regards sir.”
However, commenting on the robbery attack in Saturday Punch, the former NADECO General Secretary lamented that the security architecture of Offa, should be restructured in such a way that there would be enough presence of active security agencies, including the police and the military.
Speaking further, he said the robbery attacks exposed the underbelly of what he called the gross inefficiency of actionable intelligence in Nigeria generally and in Offa in particular, especially at this time.
He said, “If there was actionable intelligence, those ragamuffins would not have had the audacity to drop their own vehicles somewhere, mingled with the people, killing and spilling blood. They just seized vehicles with which they carried the money they stole and went through Igosun, abandoned some of those vehicles and entered their own again.
“It is equally true that the Nigerian security, if there is any, ought to create a very diligent, long lasting presence in Offa, among these various platforms namely; Okada riders (commercial motorcyclists), road transport workers, policemen, security agencies and security officers who work in commercial and microfinance banks. There must be agents who are conniving and conspiring with these violent elements who are so ungodly as to take life out of innocent souls who are going to pick their few pennies through their credit cards.
“There was no basis for the killing of people who were on the line using their ATM. What did those ones do bad against them? But they killed as many of those ones also. It is the most horrendous thing and this is the fourth time it would happen in Offa.
“The Nigerian State and the Kwara State Government ought to bring about quick response that will be manifest, clear to all and sundry to reassure and give confidence to the financial institutions that there will not be the probability of a reoccurrence of such a dastardly act.”
How 18-yr-old gang member was nabbed at popular hotel in Ilorin
In their search for the perpetrators of the Offa banks robbery, this medium gathered that an 18-year-old, Aminu Ibrahim was arrested by the police alongside two others at a popular hotel located at Sango area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital by the police.
Also arrested with the teenager were Richard Buba Terry, (23) and Peter Jaba Kuunfa, the eldest of the gang, at 25.
It was further gathered that after discrete investigation and interrogation of the suspects, they disclosed that they were in Ilorin to carry out robbery attack on a popular supermarket in the metropolis.
When their phones and other personal belongings were searched by the security operatives, it was discovered that the suspects were part of the armed robbers who launched onslaught on Offa community, penultimate Thursday.
The suspects were later arraigned before a magistrate court in Ilorin and remanded at the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) of the state police command, pending the outcome of investigation. Their case will however be coming up again before magistrate Mariam Bello Folorunsho on the 26th April, 2018.
…how we arrested suspects through telecoms provider – Police Source
A police source last night, disclosed to our reporter that some of the 12 suspects in connection to the Offa banks robbery incident were nabbed through information provided by telecommunication service providers.
“The security operatives were at telecoms offices most especially the MTN where they gathered conversations that took place some weeks back before the banks robbery incident.
“It was through the conversation of those suspects that we got their mobile numbers and tracked them to their destinations.
“Some of those arrested gave link to the whereabouts of their colleagues which led to the success recorded at the first stage and efforts are being made to arrest other suspects too.
“Also, some of those who carted away the victims’ phones have been arrested with the aid of tracking,” the source disclosed, adding that some of the suspects before their arrest in their hideouts were locked in gun duel with the police.
i. Two (2) Beretta Pistols
ii. Twenty (20) Rounds of Live Ammunition
iii. Four (4) Phones and SIM cards belonging to victims, some of whom were killed during the attack.
Consequent on the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, deployment of high-powered Police Investigation Team, Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), Three (3) units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and Anti-Robbery equipment to Kwara State to carryout discreet investigation into the banks robbery, prevent further attacks and bring perpetrators to justice; the high-powered Police Investigation Team deployed in synergy with the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department have arrested the Nine (9) above mentioned armed robbers directly involved in the banks robbery and attack on a Police Station in Offa, Kwara State.
2. The Police teams engaged in massive raids of identified criminal spots/flashpoints, stop and search operations, visibility and confidence building patrols as well as intelligence gathering which led to the arrest of the suspects. Some of the arrest also involved serious exchange of gun fire between the Police and the suspects in their various hideouts.
3. The following are the suspects arrested and have admitted to the various criminal roles they played in the banks robbery attacks and are also assisting Police investigation into the incident.
i) Adegoke Shogo 29yrs Native of Offa Kwara State, he was arrested in Offa after the bank robbery and the attack on the Police Station. He is drug baron and also an Indian Hemp dealer in Offa Kwara State. According to intelligence gathered from cultivated and reliable informant, he is alleged to be one of the sponsors of the robbery attack and the Police Station in Offa. He has made useful statements to the roles he played in the armed robbery.
ii) Kayode Opadokun 35yrs Native of Offa Kwara State, He was found out to have been released from Prison Three (3) months ago after Serving only 8months of his sentence years for Armed Robbery, Notorious Armed Robber and confirmed Gang member of the Offa Bank Robbers. A Barretta pistol and six (6) rounds of live ammunition was recovered from him. He has admitted to the criminal roles he played in the Offa Banks robbery.
iii) Kazeem Abdulrasheed 36yrs Native of Offa Kwara State, A Gang member from whom a Victim’s phone was found. He was arrested in Offa
iv) Azeez Abdullahi 27yrs Native of Offa Kwara State, Gang member from whom a Victim’s Phone and SIM Cards were recovered.
v) Alexander Reuben 39yrs Native of Isoko LGA Delta state, He is a Notorious, Deadly and Hardened Bank robber from whom GMPGs, Rocket launchers and Several Rifles were recovered in 2015, He was released from Prison in December 2017 but was re-arrested on the 11th April, 2018 in Lagos.
vi) Jimoh Isa 28yrs Native of Okene Kogi State indicted by Technical intelligence generated on the Banks Robbers. He was arrested on the 11thApril, 2018 in Lagos.
4. Three (3) suspects namely Azeez Salawudeen 20yrs, Adewale Popoola 22yrs and Adetoyese Muftau 23yrs from whom Two (2) phones and SIM cards belonging to victims were recovered have also made confessional statements admitting to the various roles they played in the commission of the crime.
5. (i) Aminu Ibrahim 18yrs – Arrested in Ilorin,
ii) Richard Buba Terry 23yrs and
iii) Peter Jaba Kuunfa 25yrs
These three (3) suspects in whose possession another Beretta pistol and Fourteen (14) rounds of live ammunitions were recovered were arrested in connection with the Offa bank robbery. They have previously been investigated and charged to court for armed robbery and cultism. They have made confessional statements admitting to the various criminal roles they played in the recent bank robbery in Offa.
6. All the suspects during investigation confessed to the various criminal roles they played in the commission of the crime, however, investigation is being intensified to arrest other suspects still at large and bring them to justice.
7. The Nigeria Police Force once again deeply commiserates with the Government and People of Kwara State, most especially the people of Offa and the families of the victims. The Force will leave no stone unturned in unravelling this dastard act and bring all those responsible to justice. The Force appreciates the supports from members of the public so far and calls for calm and their cooperation to sustain the normalcy that has been restored in the state.
Amidst bullets rain, we hid inside bank basement – Microfinance officials narrate narrow escape
F resh revelations emerged last night on how staffers of Stockcorps Micro Finance Bank, escaped from being killed by the gun wielding robbers after they invaded the financial institution, penultimate Thursday.
Some of the Micro finance bank employees who pleaded anonymity said they had to hide inside the underground floor of the bank in order to escape being shot by the armed robbers.
According to them, they were in trepidation while the armed robbers rained bullets on some of the casualties.
Speaking to our reporter last night, a management staff of the bank, Chief Lamidi Tolani said eight members of staff of Stockcorps cheated death on the ill-fated day.
Chief Tolani said while the robbers embarked on a shooting spree, the staff of the bank hid under the basement staircase to avoid been hit by stray bullets.
According to him, a lady with tribal marks led the operation, and the 5-member gang was dominated by females.
Tolani who is a former director of Ibolo Micro Finance bank disclosed that the door of the basement could not close but one of the staff held it firmly to stop it from opening.
“When the incident occurred, my son called from Abuja to intimate me of the development, I tried to reach the manager of the bank but, she was not picking her calls. She escaped death by providence because she hid in an open place. She was in between the walls that divide Zenith Bank and Stockcorps,” he disclosed.
Chief Lamidi further stated that the Head of Operations of the bank, Alawode Jamiu Adekunle was killed because he came out of hiding to abort the call of the phone that was ringing.
He added that the robbers got hold of him immediately he came out of the basement and matched him to the strong room.
“When they got to the strong room, they couldn’t open the vault and when he (Alawode) was asked to open it, he declined, telling them that he couldn’t because he did not know the codes. He was later led outside the bank and was asked to identify the manager’s car.
“They led him back to the banking hall, as the robbers were going, they were shooting in all directions, and that was how the Head of Teller, Saheed Sadiq was hit by stray bullets. He was lying down, close to the wall, but their weapons was so sophisticated that it could pierce through the wall easily. Sadiq was not targeted otherwise, he would have been killed.
“Afterwards, they shot the Operations Manager in the neck,” Chief Tolani divulged.
He however lamented that security operatives could not be reached while the incident lasted.
Chief Tolani said he called the DPO of Offa police station, but he could not be reached. Also efforts to get help from the Naval officers proved abortive as they cannot attend to the situation unless they receive a red alert from the DPO.
…survivor narrates ordeal
A staff of Stockcorps Micro Finance bank and survivor of the attack Saheed Sadiq, who was hit by stray bullets in his right thigh spoke to this medium on his bed at the General Hospital, Ilorin.
Sadiq lamented that his legs are temporarily paralysed and that he now urinate and excrete through a tube attached to his manhood.
He said surgical operation was performed last Tuesday on his leg to remove the bullets adding that another surgery will be carried out soon to correct the fractured bones.
Sodiq, the bank’s Head of Teller, while giving account of how he escaped being killed by the deadly robbers, said he laid flat beside the wall inside a cubicle.
“They came after 4pm, by then, the bank had already closed. When we started hearing gunshots, I ran to hide in a cubicle in the strong room with one other staff, Faruq Lawal. A female with tribal marks led the operation, immediately she gained entrance with her cohorts, she went straight to the auditors’ office, met a lady who was on Industrial attachment, demanding from her loudly ‘where are your bosses.’
“It has not been easy, one bullet has been removed through operation last Tuesday but the pain is much. Another one will soon be done to correct the fractured bones,” he lamented.
…list of suspects arrested
The police on Friday revealed the identities of 12 suspects who were arrested in connection to penultimate Thursday’s robbery in Offa.
i) Adegoke Shogo 29yrs – Arrested in Offa
ii) Kayode Opadokun 35yrs – Arrested in Offa
iii) Kazeem Abdulrasheed 36yrs – Arrested in Offa
iv) Azeez Abdullahi 27yrs – Arrested in Offa
v) Alexander Reuben 39yrs – Arrested on the 11th April, 2018 in Lagos
vi) Jimoh Isa 28yrs – Arrested on the 11th April, 2018 in Lagos
vii) Azeez Salawudeen 20yrs – Arrested in Offa and victim’s phone and sim cards recovered from him
viii) Adewale Popoola 22yrs – Arrested in Offa and victim’s phone and sim cards recovered from him
ix) Adetoyese Muftau 23yrs – Arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State
x) Aminu Ibrahim 18yrs – Arrested in Ilorin
xi) Richard Buba Terry 23yrs – Arrested in Ilorin
xii) Peter Jaba Kuunfa 25yrs – Arrested in Ilorin
These three (3) last suspects are those in whose possession another Beretta pistol and Fourteen (14) rounds of live ammunitions were recovered.