Bamidele and his gang members
Men of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested 23 suspects, including a dismissed soldier, for armed robbery, kidnapping and murder.
The state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Embrison, who paraded the suspects at the police headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, on Tuesday, said they were arrested in the first two weeks after the Operation Restore Hope was launched.
Embrison stated that the command had deployed men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Anti-Kidnapping, Anti-Cultism and other special units across the state to fight crime.
He gave an assurance of adequate police visibility on the highways during and after the festive season.
He added that residents would be safe from armed robbers and other criminals in the state.
Giving details of the arrests, the CP stated that a dismissed soldier, Adebanjo Bamidele, as well as Matthew Olagoke, Ahmed Abdullahi and Johnson Idowu were arrested for planning to launch an attack on a bank in Ekiti State.
He said the men of the IGP-STS monitored the suspects’ conversations and arrested them in Ibadan, Oyo State, while on their way to launch the attack.
Embrison added that three locally-made shot guns, 21 live cartridges, three identity cards, four Automated Teller Machine cards, seven mobile phones and assorted charms were recovered from the suspects.
Speaking with journalists, Bamidele said he was dismissed from the Nigerian Army for being absent without official leave.
“I served in the military for six to seven years in Maiduguri before I was dismissed for going AWOL,” he stated.
Also paraded were two suspected kidnappers, Hassan Hussain and Faruq Saidu, who were also accused of murder.
Embrison said the suspects were arrested following information received by men of the SARS about the kidnap and gruesome murder of a seven-year-old boy, Abdulmalik Abdul-Lamidi.
“The kidnapping was orchestrated by Faruq Saidu, who is a cousin to the victim, and three other persons, whom he contacted to collect ransom from his uncle in order to get married to a third wife,” the CP explained.
Other suspects paraded for armed robbery were Tunji Ogunyemi, Olumide Adesanya, Dare Shoyemi, Dele Lawal, Taoreed Abeeb and Wakil Musbau.
Embrison said the suspects were terrorising Ijebu-Igbo and environs.
He stated, “Operatives of SARS were detailed to unravel their hideout in Ijebu-Igbo. Their efforts paid off when six members of the gang were apprehended and arms and ammunition were recovered from them.
“One locally-made gun, three live cartridges and one Toyota Camry car were recovered from them.”