Offa Bank Robbery: Suspects narrate killing of 11 victims
By Oluseyi Dasilva, Ilorin
Some of the suspects standing trial in the notorious Offa bloody bank robbery of April 18, 2018, on Wednesday, narrated how they killed no fewer than 11 harmless persons during the operation.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, counsel to the prosecution, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, called the seventh witness, one John Nwoke, a police inspector and a cinematographer attached to the force public relations unit, Abuja.
Nwoke then presented a DVD video that contained the confessional statements of the defendants. The suspects, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Azeez Salawu and Niyi Ogundiran have been standing trial in the case.
All defendants, except Aknnibosun, said that they shot dead 11 persons, who were hauling stones and other missiles at them.
Akinnibosun narrated how a dismissed police officer, Michael Adikwu (now late), sold the robbery idea to him, adding that he, in turn, recruited his other four accomplices into the deal.
Akinnibosun, who claimed to be the ring leader, in the video, revealed that he owned the two vehicles used in the bloody incident.
He said that one of the vehicles, a Lexus sport utility vehicle (SUV), was given to him as an empowerment by the then Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, as he was the leader of political liberation movement in Kwara South.
Said he: “I came into contact with the dismissed policeman (Adikwu) through a revenue collection stuff. After the meeting with Adikwu, I relayed to Ibikunle Ogunleye who also relayed same to Adeola Abraham, otherwise known as Adex. Azeez Salawu and Niyi Ogundiran are both mechanics.
“On the fateful day, April 5, 2018, the five of us moved from, Oro, Irepodun local government area of the state to Ajase-Ipo where parked the SUV under a tree and all drove in the Mercedes Benz to Offa. At Offa, we parked in front of the Total filling station where late Adikwu was waiting for us in a black Audi car.
“There was also a Nissan Primera car parked in front of us at the Total filling station where some other people that came with Adikwu were waiting. Shortly, thereafter, Adikwu handed over a sack to me containing five AK47 rifles.
“As the commander of my gang, I distributed the guns and directed every member to take his position. I positioned myself at the Roundabout leading to Igosun from Offa.
“After the robbery, Adikwu did not give us a dime. He only promised to call me when it is time to share to loot. Then we all hurriedly left the community. On getting to Ijagbo, Oyun local government area, we awaited Adikwu who came and collected the five AK47 from me.”
Akinnibosun described how he came about the Lexus SUV, saying “I got the vehicle because I used to mobilise people for election in the state. The car had not got plate number before I was arrested. I was using the sticker of the then Senate President Bukola Saraki as the plate number. This is because he was the political leader of the state.”
In his own submission, Ibikunle Ogunleye (2nd defendant) revealed he was positioned at the First Bank premises in the metropolis before Adikwu dragged him to come along to the Offa police station.
He added that he shot dead two people who were trying to escape at the gate of the police station.
He said that, at the police station, Adikwu and his gang fired many shots at the station killing scores of policemen in the process.
“Adikwu, on entering the station announced that police relieved him of his job, but ‘I have come on a revenge mission.’ He then handed over 10 AK47 taken from the police armoury to me. Then I took then into his Audi car,” he said.
In their own testimonies, Adeola Abraham, Azeez Salawu and Niyi Ogundiran said that they had not handled rifle before the robbery incident.
However, each of Abraham, Salawu and Ogundiran confessed to have shot dead five, two and two persons respectively to prevent being stoned to death by members of the public.
The presiding judge, Haleemah Salman adjourned the case till March 15th and 16th for the continuation of trial.