Olatunde Adetunji, a 31-year-old member of a notorious armed robbery gang that specializes in robbing bank customers within Ikeja and Isolo areas of Lagos State, has been arrested. He was nabbed by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Also arrested was a 54-year-old woman, Bashirat Akinmushire, a.k.a. ‘Area Mama’, who is a member of a notorious cult group in Isolo. She was also alleged to be a member of the gang.
It was gathered that Adetunji ran into trouble recently when he allegedly led some members of his gang to attack a middle-aged woman on her way to the bank at Opebi area of Ikeja and dispossessed her of her money and mobile phone.
Adetunji was arrested few days later, when the woman, whose identity was not disclosed by detectives, sighted him on Toyin Street Ikeja, while he was planning to rob an unsuspecting passerby. She raised the alarm, which alerted operatives of the IRT who raced to the scene and apprehended Adetunji.
He was said to have confessed during interrogation that members of his gang normally carry out their operation, which includes armed robbery and cult-related killings in Lagos, adding that the guns are normally kept where he resides at Isolo.
Police sources disclosed that in an effort to recover Adetunji’s operational rifle and pistol, he led them to a market in Jakande Low Cost Housing Estate in Isolo, where ‘Area Mama’ was arrested. The said ‘Area Mama’ told operatives during interrogation that the guns were no longer in her possession as she had given them to a senior member of the gang simply known as Junior a.k.a Jungle.
The source added that when ‘Area Mama’ was asked to take the operatives to Jungle’s house, so they could arrest him and recover the guns, she misled them and took them to a wrong location, where she also allegedly attempted to escape.
She was said to have ran into a ditch in the process and sustained injuries, which made the operatives to stop their search for ‘Jungle’. She was eventually taken to the hospital.
When newsmen spoke to Adetunji, he confessed being a member of the gang, explaining that they usually pay ‘Area Mama’ N5,000 whenever she gives the guns to them.
“I am a member of the Eiye confraternity and I joined while I was at the university in Ogun State, but when I dropped out, I came back home to join members of my cult group in Jakande Estate and I discovered that they had already procured an AK-47 rifle and a revolver pistol.
“They told me that they bought the guns from a soldier and they usually kept them at Area Mama's shop, who is also a member of our cult group. She usually hides the gun at the back of her shop where she sells pepper and tomatoes. She would cover the bag of the guns with basket and sacks.
“We have used guns on several operations and we use to give her N5000 after every operation, but the main job we do with the guns is to fight our opponent who are rival cult members.”
But ‘Area Mama’ in her own statement, noted that Adetunji and ‘Jungle’ forced her to keep the guns for the group because she is a member of their group and she also took oaths to keep their secrets.
“I took an oath when I joined the group but I didn’t know that they will assign the duty of keeping their guns to me. I tried to protest against keeping the gun for them but they threatened to kill me. Because of the oath we took together, I could not tell anyone that I was keeping guns for the group. They use to come for it whenever they have an operation but I don’t know what they use to do with the guns and after each operation they will give me N5,000.
“However, few months ago, Jungle came and collected the guns and he is yet to return it to me. I have tried taking the police to his house but we didn’t find him in the house," she stated.