Police parading the Offa banks robbery suspects
One of the prosecution witnesses in the ongoing Offa robbery case, Insp Hitila Hassan, said on Friday that no fewer than 21 AK 47 rifles were stolen from the armoury of a police station in the community.
The witness, who was being led by the prosecutor, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, spoke at the resumed hearing of the case at an Ilorin High Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 33 people, including nine policemen, were killed in the bloody robbery on April 5, 2018.
The witness identified the five accused persons undergoing trial as accomplices of the late main suspect, Micheal Adikwu.
They are Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
He also told the court that the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footages of the robbed banks disclosed the identity of the accused, culminating in their arrest.
Hassan, an officer attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), said other members of the gang were still at large.
IRT was set up by the former IGP Ibrahim Idris and is headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
He said his team was in Ilorin on the directive of the then IGP to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
Hassan said his team worked with officers of the Criminal Investigation Department on its assignment.
“ We visited the armoury at Offa Police Station where we discovered that no fewer than 21 AK 47 rifles were carted away by the armed robbers.
“We also gathered from the accused persons that the late Michael Adikwu after the attacks on the banks headed for the police station and started shouting that he had come on a revenge mission over his dismissal from the force.
“Then he started shooting sporadically in every direction at the station.
“Having carefully watched the footages of the CCTV, we identified the faces in the camera and then circulated them in the social media for Nigerians to assist us in the arrest of the culprits.
“Through that we generated our intelligence that led to the arrest of one Ibikunle Ogunleye in Oro, Irepodun Local Government Area of the state.
“Initially, he denied having anything to do with the incident but when confronted with CCTV evidence, he confessed and said he was one of the persons inside the banks wielding AK47 rifles.
“His arrest assisted us in the arrest of four other accused persons standing trial,’’ he said.
Earlier, Insp Yusuf Dauda, an exhibit keeper at the headquarters of the Nigeria Police in Ilorin, also testified.
He said on April 10, 2018, a former Divisional Police Officer in Offa Local Government, CSP Danjuma Adamu, handed to him some weapons and ammunition allegedly used in the robbery operation.
Dauda said that the ammunition included 39 expended 7.6mm ammunition, four expended 5.6mm, two expended blank cartridges, four used bullets, one live 5.6mm ammunition, one cartridge safety box on which Ikoyi South West, Lagos, Nigeria, was written and a damaged padlock.
He also said that on April 15, 2018, Hassan attached to the IGP response team, also brought one Lexus Jeep on which a sticker bearing, “Saraki, ” was written with its key, a Kompressor Mercedes Benz and four stickers bearing “Saraki ”
The prosecution tendered all the items as exhibits in the case.
Justice Halimat Salman adjourned the case till Feb. 19 and Feb. 20 for continuation of hearing.