The Lagos State Police Command has arrested eight persons for allegedly robbing Sterling Bank plc and Ecobank plc at different times.
Among the suspects are two drivers attached to each of the banks, as well as an Islamic cleric.
The Eco bank driver, Rasheed Anifowose, however alleged that he was hypnotised by the Islamic cleric, Mufutau Eleduwe, to commit the crime.
Anifowose said he informed the gang to come at about 5.30pm, after the policemen attached to the bank must have closed for the day.
He said, “I had gone to his place for spiritual help for my mother’s health and other family problems. But along the line, he asked where I was working and when I told him, he said he would get me people who would rob the bank and at the end of the day he would give me money. I refused the offer.
“But he later told me to bring my picture for him to continue with the spiritual work and that was the end. The next time he called me, he told me to give some people details of how to get to the bank.”
Narrating how the suspects were arrested, the Commissioner of Police for the state command, Mr. Umar Manko, said the banks’ drivers were arrested by policemen from the Area D Command, Mushin on September 26, 2012, at Sterling Bank, Matori, during a shoot-out with members of one of the gangs which attempted to rob the bank.
He said, “They made confessional statements which led to the arrest of eight others and the recovery of one locally-made pistol with one live cartridge and the case was subsequently transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, for further investigation on October 2.
“The suspects were interrogated and they further confessed that their armourer and gang leader, Adedokun Yusuf and Ahmed Adelakun, were in Aiyetoro. Consequently, they led SARS operatives to Aiyetoro in Ogun State where the duo was arrested and two locally-made pistols with four live cartridges recovered.
“The suspects, who normally operate with the collaboration of insiders, confessed that they robbed Sterling Bank, Matori branch, Mushin, Lagos, on May 25, 2012, and carted away N8m and Ecobank, Isolo, on August 29, 2012. Investigation is still on.”
The Sterling Bank’s driver, Aremu Taiwo, admitted to have given the robber that stormed his bank information on how to get in.
He said, “I told them to come on that Friday at about 5pm. I told them to come in through the back door which would be opened by then. I had also gone home when they struck.
“That was to avoid any suspicion. But I warned them not to kill anybody. At the end f the day, they gave me N300, 000.”
The cleric, Muftau, however said he only prayed for the success of both drivers, adding that at the end of the operation at Sterling Bank, he was given N307, 000.