Three self-confessed killers of late Adeniyi Sanni, the senior aide to the senator representing Ogun West in the National Assembly, Solomon Adeola, have been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command.
The suspects, all ex-convicts, were arrested in different parts of the South West after what the command boss, CP Idowu Owohunwa, described as a painstaking and diligent investigative set of actions. They were paraded, yesterday, at the command headquarters, Ikeja.
Preliminary investigation, according to Owohunwa, revealed that the trio of Okunnu Fred, 43; Lucky Idudu, 33 and Adedigba Segun were not military personnel after all.
Rather, the suspects were revealed during the parade to have been parading as military personnel in order to compel their victims to stop when flagged down.
They were said to be members of a trans-national robbery syndicate that specialised in snatching unregistered vehicles from unsuspecting motorists and, thereafter, drive them to their sponsor and gang leader identified simply as Alhaji, who resides in Benin Republic.
Items recovered from them include two Brownie pistols with three rounds of live ammunition in each and a locally-made cut-to-size pistol with six live cartridges as well as six expended cartridges, military gear, comprising a camouflage vest, jungle hat holster and jungle boots.
In addition, one Red Honda CRV with number plate, EKY 276 JD, said to have been hijacked by a yet-to-be-identified victim was recovered from them.
Method of operation:
The investigation, according to Owohunwa, revealed that “their modus operandi includes stationing one gang member some metres from Berger bus stop to spot unregistered vehicles. The spotter then calls his gang members, who are dressed in military fatigues and stationed somewhere around Berger bus stop to inform them of the approaching vehicle.
“Once they stop their victim, they request for the vehicle customs papers, explaining that they would need to clear security and customs checks.
“In this incident, after seeing the papers, they insisted on taking their victim to their base. Once they entered the vehicle, it dawned on Mr. Sanni that they were robbers. He called out for help, which made the robbers shoot him thrice and further stabbed him.
“They dropped his corpse by the roadside and drove to Kuto, Abeokuta, where they cleaned up the blood stains in the rear seats of the vehicle and same night, proceeded with the vehicle to the border town of Chikunda in Kwara State, where the criminal receiver took delivery of the car.
I have other cells operating across the country. Being a transnational crime, the command is involving the Interpol for the apprehension of this criminal receiver and financier.”
How we killed him:
Speaking with journalists, one of the suspects, Fred, an indigene of Lagos State, revealed how Sani was killed.
He said: “I am from Lagos Island. At 11.30p.m., Segun spotted the car and alerted us. Lucky was putting on a military uniform and cap. He also held a torch light. We stopped the car and I walked to the other side and asked the man to show me the customs documents.
He started making a call but I didn’t know who exactly he was talking to. He said the document was inside the car.
“He started shouting, asking what else we wanted since he had given us the particulars. He started shouting for help and at the same time, shouting ‘thief’.
“He came out of the car and started running. I fired two bullets from my gun. Lucky also shot at him and the man fell.
“Segun and I pulled him into the back seat and we drove off. Yet, he kept shouting. Segun, who sat with him at the back stabbed him with a knife in the chest. I asked why he did that because the plan was not to kill him. We dropped his body by the road and drove to the border town of Chikunda in Kwara State, from where we called Alhaji.
“He sent someone who passed us through the border into the Benin Republic. We negotiated N3 million for the car, but Alhaji told us to drop the vehicle and leave, with a promise to send money to us the next time we brought another vehicle. But he never made the payment until we were arrested.”