The Lagos State Police Command has smashed a robbery syndicate which specialised in using police emblem during operation, arresting five suspected members of the gang and recovered two pump action guns and two pistol from them.
The suspects were arrested alongside 35 other robbery suspects that have been terrorising the state.
Parading the suspects before journalists yesterday, at the command’s headquarters, Ikeja, the command boss, Mr Fatai Owoseni , disclosed that 40 notorious armed robbery suspects who have been terrorising residents were arrested by the police in different parts of the state.
According to him, “40 armed robbery suspects were arrested, five of the suspects died during encounter with the police while two of them in a bid to escape arrest jumped into the lagoon at Odo-Alaro Maryland and died in the process.
The police recovered 27 different types of firearms; some of the weapons were abandoned during police stop and search. 64 different calibre of ammunition were recovered.
Items recovered include locally made pistols, hammers, and cutlass. Different types of fetish materials, face mask and different kinds of face caps.
CP Owoseni added that the police arraigned 20 suspects in court as he added that the police recorded 31 cases of stolen vehicles and 17 murder cases in September.
He said: “The police recorded 31 cases of motor vehicle removal from where they were parked. 15 cars snatched at gunpoint. 30 vehicles were recovered by the police out of the 46 removed. The command recorded 17 cases of murder. The command is using this opportunity to advise members of the public to be conscious of their environment especially now that we are approaching Christmas and New Year. Members of the public should report all suspicious movements and persons to the police. We assure residents and visitors that the police will continue to provide adequate security but we need the cooperation of members of the public”.
In his defence, the prime suspect, Joel Ojo, 58-years-old said that “I started using the fake police uniform this year. It was one of my police friends who gave me the guns, and the I.D. card. I am not the owner of the guns. The guns were spoilt and the owners asked us to go and repair them.
“But I am the gang’s armourer. I was a security man. We were arrested around Abattoir area of Agege, when we were going to fix the guns. Our vehicles were stopped searched and the guns were recovered. We were then taken to SARS. We are church workers.
“We are not robbers. We were five persons in the car. As I speak with you, I am having headache, and I cannot speak too much. He is my friend; he is my CSP, and a D.P.O. He knew I was a security man, and he said I should just have them. The guns do not belong to me. I was given the guns to repair. His name is one CSP Muhammed from Force headquarters, Abuja.”