We upgraded our operations after collecting Ak-47 from policeman – Robbery suspect

Luck has run out on three members of a robbery gang operating in the Ojo, Ajangbadi and Iyana-Isashi areas of Lagos State.

The suspects – Solomon Boniface, aka Baba Fela, Odinaka Igwe and Oluwatosin Omoshuyi – were rounded up recently by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team.

Four pistols and two live cartridges were said to have been recovered from the suspects whose gang leader, a 25-year-old man identified simply as Sholly, is still at large.

Our correspondent learnt that the gang members had carried out several killings, including a policeman whom they killed at a checkpoint around Okokomaiko and dispossessed him of his Ak-47 rifle.

It was gathered that Sholly was in possession of the Ak-47, using it to lead robbery attacks on eateries, drinking joints and Point of Sale withdrawal spots.

Our correspondent gathered that concerned members of the public had petitioned the Lagos State Police Command and the office of the IGP, complaining about the terror gang.

The IG, Mohammed Adamu, was said to have directed IRT to smash the gang.

A police source said following the directive, detectives went after the suspects, leading to the arrest.

The source said, “Babafela is one of the notorious armed robbers who had been terrorising those areas for a long time. He is the second-in-command. He and his gang leader, Sholly, killed a policeman in Afromadia, close to Okokomakio and took his gun away. He became sophisticated and everyone was afraid of him.

“Sholly is a member of Eiye confraternity and took over the leadership of the gang from one Odia who had been arrested. After killing the police officer, he became superior and many criminals in the Ojo area became loyal to him.”

The source said Omoshuyi was in charge of keeping arms for the gang while the third suspect, Igwe, rode motorcycle used in the operations.

“The gang also killed a man in Alabarago who argued with them. Sholly also killed an OPC man who accosted him when he went for a robbery operation.

“While we were on Sholly’s trail, we got information about Oluwatosin (Omoshuyi) and we stormed his house. We recovered a revolver pistol from him.  We also arrested Igwe and recovered one locally-made pistol and two life cartridges from him,” the source added.

While being paraded by the police during the week, Boniface, 29, said he joined the gang after he met Sholly at a smoking joint in Alaba Rago and they became friends.

The father of one added that he and Sholly belonged to Eiye confraternity.

He recalled, “There was a day he invited me to meet him at Alaba Rago and when I got there around 8pm, I saw two other persons known as Taju and Afeez. We then went to Old Ojo Road on a bike and we robbed a man going home from the market with a bag filled with money. It was Sholly that initiated the operation and I got N350,000 as my share.”

Boniface stated that their operations intensified after the killing of the policeman and possession of his gun.

“I was with Sholly on the day the policeman was killed at Afromedia. He handed over his gun to me and started using the policeman’s gun. We upgraded our operations and robbed several bars and eateries afterwards.  When the police were looking for us, Sholly went into hiding but I was arrested.”

Igwe, 24, said he was introduced to the gang by Odia and participated in several robberies.

He said, “I am a motorcycle rider. I joined Eiye confraternity in 2018 through a friend.  I became friends with Odia who linked me with one Aboy and Sholly. We robbed several hotels along the Alaba Road and one at Old Daniel.

“Odia used his own share to celebrate his father’s burial. A fight broke out along the line and one of his friends alerted the police about his activities and he was arrested. I started working with Sholly and we were successful until the police started looking for Sholly. They trailed him to my house, arrested me and recovered the guns.”
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