The leader of a gang of armed robbers that had terrorized residents of Ekiti and Ondo States in recent months, Ojo Tubonsun, has expressed relief and thanked God for his arrest by the police.
Tubonsun, who led the seven-man gang that slaughtered some policemen during a bank robbery in Ekiti State, spoke when he was paraded by the police at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters in Abuja, on Thursday.
Said to have been involved in robbing three banks in Ondo and Ekiti States between 2019 and the early part of 2020, where no less than six policemen were killed, the 42-year-old gang leader while confessing to the crime, said he was grateful to God that they were arrested by the police.
Paraded alongside his six other members of his gang while confessing to the crime, he said: “We robbed UBA in Oye, Ekiti, I led them inside to go and pack the money, while others were outside. I did the same for the other two banks. At Ile-Oluji, I shared the money. My share was N1.1 million, some got N500, 000, some 350, 000 and so on. At Idanre we also shared the money. At Ile-Oluji, four policemen were killed, at Oye Ekiti, two policemen were killed.
“We thank God for God that the police got us arrested because it is the will of God. It was the will of God for the police to arrest us. If not the will of God, it would not be so. God has a purpose for us that is why. We know that we have already sinned. We have sinned against man and God. We have already begged, I personally have begged, for the forgiveness of the Almighty God. I also beg for forgiveness of human beings, and God will help us in Jesus name.”
Giving further details, the suspect, who said he started robbing in 2018, further narrated how they carried out the operations using three pump actions, one AK and some locally made guns.
He added: “I did not support the killing of the policemen. I was inside. When I came outside and saw they killed two policemen, I blamed them. When I started to blame them, one of them fired my leg. I used hot water and ampiclox to treat the gunshot wounds.”
Force police spokesman, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) who paraded other 32 suspects, listed items recovered from them to include one AK-47 rifle, one AK-49 rifle; two pump action rifles, 19 locally made pistols, 129 live cartridges for the pump actions, 145 rounds of live ammunition and one Toyota Corolla salon car.
Mba, while recounting how the suspects were arrested by operatives of the Special Tactical Squad (STS), informed that Tubonsun and his gang carried out the three robberies between 2019 and the early part of this year.
“Between 2019 and the early part of this year, three cases of bank robberies were recorded in Ondo and Ekiti States. Three banks located at Ile-Oluji in Ondo State, Idanre also in Ondo State, as well as Oye in Ekiti State were at different times attacked and robbed by this same gang.
“Operatives from STS carried very extensive and intensive investigations into this case that lasted for months and today we are glad that we can present to you the outcome of these comprehensive investigations. Six policemen were killed as a result of those robberies. Four were killed during the robbery at Ile-Oluji in Ondo, while two were killed during the Oye in Ekiti State. A branch of WEMA Bank, a branch of UBA as well as a micro finance bank were attacked in those three operations.
Mba who said the gang’s operations were highly organized and clinically executed, stressed: “They had clear cut division of labour and each member of the group had an assigned role and they played it as effectively as they could. Fatoye and Ariyo were Okada riders who carried out surveillance operations while the robberies were going on.
“Their roles were to monitor the roles and monitor the advance of the police and other security agencies and keep the group informed of any external incursion into the areas the operations were taking place and they were paid handsomely for it. They all participated in the three operations and got different amounts for their roles.”
Other members of the gang arrested were Ismail Ojo, 25; Victor Owoyemi, 36; Adeniyi John, 42; Sola Oladimeji, 50; Olubadu Fatoye, 41; and Dele Ariyo, 44.
The Police also paraded 33-year Usman Garba for arms dealing, who was reportedly arrested while taking arms to bandits in Kaduna, adding that from Dede in Abuja, he was going to deliver 131 rounds of live ammunition to one Sani in Kaduna, when he was arrested by the STS.
Also paraded were a car thief, Sunday Ekele, 37 and a gang that specialised in obtaining money from innocent members of the public under false pretense through blackmailing, threatening and even kidnapping of their victims.
The gang at various times fraudulently pretended to be old men, women or children as part of their ploy to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.