As the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adisa Baba Bolanta paraded two identical twins among the robbery suspects arrested in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State today, he disclosed that 62 members of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) have so far been arrested in connection with the union’s crisis.
Bolanta stated that all the suspects would be charged to court as soon as the judiciary workersÂ call off their strike action in the state.
He Â added that both NURTW factions in the state have been warned against fomenting trouble in the state.
However, the embattled NURTW Chairman in the state, Alhaji Lateef Salako a.k.a. Eleweomo was seen at the command holding meeting with the commissioner of police.
Bolanta stated that the robbery gang had confessed to being behind most of the armed robbery attacks around the Idi-Osan-Mosfala neighbourhood of the metropolis.
The police boss said that the gang was arrested at about 11.00 p.m. when one of them, Akeem Yisau a.k.a. Olobo, came to a street at Mosfala area to ask forÂ a police corporal. That was an odd hour at an area where visitors are not allowed beyond 10.00 p.m.
His words: â€œWhen the police corporal was called and he denied knowing the person, he asked to talk to him on phone. While talking to him, the suspect mentioned another person whom the corporal also called to confirm.
“The person, who is an Army officer, also denied knowing him, but suggested that he could be one of the people that assisted him in building his house.”
According to Bolanta, since neither of the two people he mentioned could identify him, the police corporal suggested to the night guards that he be taken to the Ogbere police station, adding that some of the some members of the suspectâ€™s gang came the following morning to attack the Vice Chairman of the landlords association, who led the guards.
The guards’ boss was said to have been be shot in the buttocks, cut with machete on the neck and other parts of the body, for effecting the arrest and detention of one of them. The injured man later died before he could be rushed to the hospital.
The police boss said that this prompted the police corporal to alert the police headquarters where it was ordered that the detained suspectâ€™s matter be transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the state Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
â€œOn interrogation in the night, the suspect led us to the house of their leader. We did not meet the leader there as the wife said he was out in the night. But while the policemen were returning, they met them on the road where the gang opened fire on the police. In the process, one of them was killed and others were injured,â€ said Mr. Bolanta.
Bolanta said that the gang comprisedÂ nine members out of which one was killed, seven arrested and one escaped.
The other six arrested yesterday were Adegbo Arise, Olamilekan Ayoola, Nojeem Okunade a.k.a. Tanfeku, Abioye Yinka, Kehinde Oluwole and Taye Oluwole.
Mr. Bolanta said the gang had confessed that they were looking for the police corporal and the serving army officer to kill to avoid any hindrances to their operations within the neighbourhood.
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan