Offa bank robbery: How we killed 11 persons – suspects

Prosecutors failed to attend Tuesday’s hearing at the federal high court in Lagos, having previously failed to present some of their witnesses in a case that had been adjourned on several occasions.

Four suspected armed robbers in the April 5, 2018, Offa bank robbery in Kwara State yesterday told an Ilorin High Court how they killed no fewer than 11 persons during the incident.

The suspects, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Azeez Salawu and Niyi Ogundiran, were all present in the court.

At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, counsel to the prosecution, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, called the seventh witness, Inspector John Nwoke, who is the cinematographer attached to the Police Public Relations unit in Abuja.

Nwoke then presented a DVD video to the open court that contained the confessional statements of the defendants.

One of the defendants, Ayoade Aknnibosun, said they shot dead 11 persons, who were hauling stones and other missiles at them on that fateful day in Offa.

Akinnibosun narrated how a dismissed police officer Michael Adikwu (now late) sold the robbery idea to him, adding that he in turn conscripted his other four accomplices in the deal.

Akinnibosun, who claimed to be the ring leader in the video, revealed that he owned the two vehicles used for the bloody robbery operation.

He said one of the vehicles, Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), was given to him as an empowerment by the then Kwara State governor, as he was the leader of political liberation movement in Kwara South area.

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The criminal added: “I came into contact with the dismissed policeman (Adikwu) through a revenue collection process. After the meeting with Adikwu, I relayed to Ibikunle Ogunleye, who also relayed same to Adeola Abraham also known as Adex. Azeez Salawu and Niyi Ogundiran are both mechanics.

According to Akinnibosun, “On the fateful day of April 5, 2018, we (five of us) moved from Oro, Irepodun Local Government Area of the state to Ajase-Ipo where we parked the SUV under a tree, and we all drove in the Mercedes Benz to Offa.”

At Offa, we parked in front of the Total filling station where late Adikwu was waiting for us in a black Audi car.

“There was also a Nissan Premeria car parked in front of us at the Total filling station where some other people that came with Adikwu were waiting. Shortly thereafter, Adikwu handed over a sack to me containing five AK-47 rifles.

“As the commander of my gang, I distributed the guns and directed every member to take his position. I positioned myself at the Roundabout leading to Igosun from Offa.

“After the robbery, Adikwu did not give us a dime. He only promised to call me when it is time to share the loot. Then we all hurriedly left the community. On getting to Ijagbo in Oyun LGA, our vehicle was halt awaiting Adikwu, who came and collected the five AK-47 rifles from me.”

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Also speaking, Ibikunle Ogunleye (second defendant) said he was traditionally positioned at the First Bank premises in the metropolis before Adikwu dragged him to come along to the Offa police station.

He added that he shot dead two people who were trying to escape at the gate of the police station.

The second defendant said at the police station, Adikwu and his gangs fired many shots at the station killing scores of policemen in the process.

In their own testimonies, Adeola Abraham, Azeez Salawu and Niyi Ogundiran said they had not handled rifle before the robbery incident.

However, each of Abraham, Salawu and Ogundiran confessed to have shot dead five, two and two persons respectively, to prevent being stoned to death by members of the public.

The presiding Judge, Justice Haleemah Salman, adjourned the case to March 15 and 16, 2021, for continuation of the trial.

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