Lagos State Police Command on Monday, September 18, paraded three male suspects in the robbery and murder of Adeniyi Sanni, an aide to Senator Solomon Adeola also known as Yayi.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, confirmed the arrest while briefing reporters at the command’s Headquarters Ikeja, Lagos.
Sanni was killed on August 5 when he was stopped by ‘fake security’ agents at a checkpoint in Ojodu Berger, on his way to his home in Isheri, Lagos.
Owohunwa said: “Through painstaking intelligence and investigative activities which brought out the best in the capacity of Lagos Police Command, we have succeeded in arresting the syndicate of the robbery and murder. The three suspects directly involved in the robbery and murder were arrested with three firearms including the killer’s weapon were recovered.”
The command recovered one brand new pistol with three live ammunition, one Beretta pistol with three live ammunition, one locally made pistol with six live cartridges, six expended cartridges, military gear comprising a military camouflage vest, jungle hat, pistol hose and a red Honda CRV from the suspects.
The arrested suspects are Fred Azeez Okuno, 43-year-old Lagosian, Lucky Idudu Michael, 33-year-old from Delta State, and Adedigba Segun, 26-year-old from Ibadan, Oyo state.
Meanwhile, the suspects stated that the victim was killed for raising the alarm while fleeing from the scene of the robbery.
Narrating how Sanni was killed, one of the suspects, Fred, said, “On that fateful day, we were told a black Toyota Camry was coming. One of us, Lucky, who was putting on camouflage uniform then flagged the vehicle down, while I rushed towards the other side of the door and demanded the documents of the vehicle.
“When I was asking for the documents, he was on a call with someone, probably talking to his wife. After a while, he asked me what else I wanted again after giving me his car documents.”
Fred said Sanni probably noticed something was off and started shouting ‘Thief’ all of a sudden.
He said when Sanni got out of the car and started running away, he pulled the trigger.
“That was when I shot him with the only two bullets I have in my gun,” he said.
“While I was trying to go back, I heard another gunshot from Lucky that hit the man again. I and Segun moved him to the back of the seat of the car and zoomed off. By then, he was still breathing, and he was still shouting thief.
“It was then Segun stabbed him with a knife and that led to an argument between us. We condemned him for stabbing him.”
According to Fred, “Segun said he stabbed him because his noise was too much at that hour of night”.
He said they subsequently dumped Sanni’s body on the side of the road and drove off to Abeokuta.
Meanwhile, the police commissioner said their investigation revealed that the gang was armed by one Alhaji based in Benin Republic who specialised in robbing motorists.
He said, “The gang have been successful in not less than five operations and their modules include stationing one gang member some meters from Berger bus stop to sport unregistered vehicle advancing or travelling on that route.
“The spotter will then call his gang members who are usually dressed in military trick fatigue and stationed ahead of him along Berger bus stopped to inform them of the approaching targeted vehicle.
“The gang member in military uniform will naturally come out to flash down the vehicle and again naturally believing that the gang members are military men, the temptation to stop would naturally be very high so they will stop and the first thing they would do would be to ask for your vehicle papers to give credence to two things.
“One to pretend that indeed they have a military background and they are there for legitimate military function. However, the main purpose for requesting for the vehicle papers is to clear security and customs checks after asking matching those vehicles from the victims. Once they entered the vehicle in this specific case after demanding the papers, the late Mr Sani called his wife.
“One of them took him aside and requested the vehicle papers, that is Fred, who actually organized this specific instance. He took him aside and requested for the vehicles of the papers. I mean for the papers of the vehicle and Mr Sani put a call through to his wife indicating that he had been stopped by some soldiers whom he believed were soldiers and they were requesting vehicle papers so he requested that she send them to him on his WhatsApp which was done.
‘When they kept threatening, he said the vehicle papers were already here. So what other thing do you want? At that point they pushed him in and it dawned on him that they were armed robbers so he raised the alarm and from their narrative, he made to escape from the scene. At that point, Fred fired two shots that hit him and this was also followed by shots from Lucky who was the actual one in military fatigue that night.
“They picked him up from where he fell, pushed him inside the back of his vehicle in his pool of blood and drove off along the line, of course, the victim was groaning, screaming and they saw that as a disturbance and Segun that was right behind with him because at this point Fred had taken over the driver seats.
“Segun was behind him; he felt uncomfortable with his screaming and decided to stab him in the chest. Of course along the line, he gave up and they had altercations within themselves as to why he had to stab him.
“Nonetheless, they proceeded and dumped his body off the road and drove the vehicle to Kotu area in Abeokuta that same night where they washed all the blood and proceeded through Iseyin to Tshikanda in Kwara where they put a call through to the Alhaji, their kingpin who then sent and picked the vehicle.”