Offa Robbery: More Details Emerge

Ring leader of the bloody bank robbery in Offa, Kwara State, on April 5, Ayoade Akinnibosun, has confessed that a top aide of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed gave him two AK-47 rifles two days to the ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

He said the weapons were handed over to him to neutralise political thugs allegedly brought in by a minister. He, however, said he and his boys were able to handle the minister’s loyalists without the use of guns. He also said he later handed over the guns to the governor’s aide at the end of the exercise.

Apart from the guns, he told Daily Sun exclusively that the aide gave him a Lexus SUV, which he used for the robbery but had to drop it before getting to the scene of the robbery.

Akinnibosun, in an interview with Daily Sun in Abuja, also revealed how he accompanied Saraki, to the palace of the Olofa of Offa on April 7, after the robbery attack and gruesome murder of over 30 persons, including nine police personnel. Saraki was at the palace on a sympathy visit.

“Yes, when the senate president visited the palace of the Olofa of Offa, I was there. It was me, and this my two other gang members who are here with me (in police custody) and one other guy, Murphy, that went with me on that visit. On getting there, me and Murphy and these two were with the senate president until he left. We had not driven far after he left when we heard again that he was going back to the palace. We went back there and waited for him but he didn’t come back.”

He said he got to know about the visit not from the senate president but from a friend, Samson.
“We have a platform; all these political platforms. That is where we get information. But specifically, it was Sampson that first called me to say the senate president will be going to Offa, that we should go there; that he too was on his way and that Senator Rafiu is also coming. That was how we went there.

“I cannot say he (Saraki) knows me. He may know me as a member of APC, but it was through Sampson that I got to know about the visit to the palace of the Olofa. And when he now left, Senator Rafiu came. After Senator Rafiu left, he was on his way and we were going together because we were going back to Oro. On his way, he now stopped at Eleyooka to ease himself. That was where he gave us N50,000 to share. We are many because whenever the leader or the senate president is around, youths from all over usually gather together and they give us something.”

As a youth leader in charge of his zone in Kwara south, the suspect said his duty was to mobilise youths during elections, campaign, voting and cause confusion if it was so directed by his principals.

As a politician, he said he has been working for the Kwara State governor and by extension the senate president for over ten years, but that they did not know he was into armed robbery.

He said his link to both the governor and Saraki, was a certain government official, who he claimed was responsible for the welfare of the youth group that he led.

“We meet only when it was necessary or when there was a political outing in the state,” he said.
Akinnibosun, who claimed to be a graduate of Guidance and Counseling from the Kwara State College of Education, Oro, said he got into armed robbery through the “work of the devil” after a friend he identified simply as Michael introduced him to it.

Apart from luring him and his friends, the said Michael also trained them on how to shoot. He said the dismissed police officer took him and his gang members into a bush in one of the villages for training.

“I am the coordinator of Kwara South Liberation Youth Movement. We have a forum all over Kwara South. Two cars were given to us as a kind of empowerment to help the youth get something to do. I drove the Lexus to Ajashe, parked it and joined the other members of the gang who were already in a waiting vehicle from where we took off Offa.”

But he could not say what they made from the robbery which involved five banks, “because we didn’t go inside the bank. Michael said he was going to give us our share and we were yet to get anything from him before they arrested us.”

Asked how he got the vehicle back to Government House, Akinnibosun said: “When I heard that they have arrested my friend, Kunle, I gave my car key to one Ade and told him I was going to the police station to see Kunle. That was how I was arrested. I gave the keys to Ade, he is a politician and he is here too (police custody.)”

Meanwhile, operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have invited some officials of the Kwara Government House including Salawudeen Hassan Giegele, personal assistant to the governor on Central, Amu Ibiwoye, special assistant to the governor on agriculture and Ishola Abdulateeef, workshop manager, to Abuja, to clear the air on how the vehicle that was used for the Offa bank robbery operation, got into the Government House and their relationship with Akinnibosun.

It was gathered that one of the Government House officials told police interrogators that the vehicle was actually given to the suspect as part of the government’s empowerment programme.

The official, according to police sources, said the three vehicles, a Lexus Jeep and two Toyota, were given to the suspect and some other persons to be used for car hire services at the airport to enable them cater for their families.

He also said the vehicle was not registered at the time it was handed over to the suspect who is also the gang leader of the group.

It was gathered that the IRT operatives discovered that the vehicle was registered by the government after it was declared wanted by the police.

An IRT operative who did not want to be mentioned, told Daily Sun, “we are not saying that the senate president empowered the suspects to go and rob; all we are after is how the vehicle that was used for a robbery operation that left over 30 persons found its way to the Government House. That’s what we are after.” At press time, the Government House officials were still being quizzed at the IRT office.

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