Three armed robbery suspects-Uche Okeagbu, Emmanuel Ezeani and Chinonso Nwuangwu-have been arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos, in connection with the September 9, 2012 robberies in the state, which left three policemen and a civilian dead.
The suspects were arrested at their Ajangbadi hideout on September 23 following a tip-off.
The suspects were said to members of a much larger group, which had about three weeks ago, carried out simultaneous robberies in Gbagada, Agege, Anthony, Ojodu, Itire, Ikeja and Ilasamaja areas of the state.
It was learnt that after 23-year-old Okeagbu was arrested, his confession led to the recovery of a large cache of ammunition, one rocket propel grenade launcher, 225 AK 47 magazines fully-loaded, over 10,000 rounds of AK 47 live ammunition, two general purpose machine guns, 260 rounds of GPMG live ammunition, five dynamite with detonator and nine AK 47 rifles.
A self employed oil dealer before his foray into armed robbery, Okeagbu told PUNCH METRO that he was once based in Port Harcourt.
He said, “I was an oil dealer in Port Harcourt before a friend introduced me to this gang. I have been with them for a while and during the time, I went with them for four operations in Ibadan where I got N500,000 as my share. Another was in Uyo where I got N800, 000. I also got N800, 000 for the First Bank robbery at Share, Kwara State and N100,000 for the Lagos robbery. All these took place this year.
“In all these operations, the targets were banks which we robbed successfully. I never went with the group into the banks. I always stayed back with the driver in the car because I was scared but I didn’t go with the gang when they raided Lagos three weeks ago.”
A SARS team led by, Mr. Abba Kyari, found the gang’s armoury in two Volkswagen buses with registration numbers LSD 467 AR and AGL 506 XB, parked at Okeagbu’s residence at Ajangbadi.
Also, Nwuangwu said he took part in four robbery operations at Diamond Bank, Akure, in Ondo State, UBA, Osogbo in Osun State, GTB Okene, in Kogi State and Skyebank, Auchi, in Edo State.
The 23year-old said, “I was merely the driver of the vehicles. I just drove them to whereever they had an operation. I used to be an oil dealer in Port Harcourt before I joined the gang but I have stopped going with them for operations for a while now.”
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, said the suspects were members of the gang that terrorised Lagos about three weeks ago.
Manko said, “After the Lagos operation, the group proceeded to Ilorin where they robbed a bank and attacked a police station. We are still on the trail of the remaining members of the gang.
“Apart from the arms and ammunition recovered, we also seized a Toyota Camry belonging to the gang. The car was fitted with sensors and camera. That way, the robbers could monitor whatever was going on behind them.
“I would also like to say that since the September 9 robbery operations that the command has not recorded any other robbery incident. There have been robbery attempts in several parts of the state but these have been quelled by the police.
“I encourage the public to continue to come forward with useful information of any suspicious activity around them because that was how we got information on these suspects.”