The Nigeria police command in Edo State has arrested and paraded 17 criminal suspects, including an artisan, Osabuohien Arumuda and Nosa Osayawe who returned from Ghana to Edo State four years ago.
All the male suspects, comprising 15 members of different cult groups and two others, were paraded by the Command’s Public Relations officer, SP. Chidi Nwabuzor on Thursday in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The two robbery suspects were arrested in connection with a missing Toyota Camry car allegedly snatched at gun point from unnamed car owner who recently lost his mother in Aduwawa Community by a four-man robbery gang (including Osayawe) led by ‘Mr. Solo’ (now at large) and thereafter taken to Evbue-Okhuenbor Community both in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of the State on Thursday morning.
Crack team of the police swooped on 24-year-old Osayawe and 41-year-old Arumuda who Osayawe engaged at his workshop at Egba junction, to repair the demobilised vehicle parked at a popular petrol station and taken to a private residence in Evbue-Okhuenbor community in Uhunmowde Local Government Area.
Addressing journalists, Nwabuzor at the instance of the Commissioner of Police in the State, CP. Abutu Yaro on Thursday evening, said, Osayawe and Arumuda were caught by police operatives acting on a distress call while trying to sell the car, adding that two other accomplices to the alleged crime escaped.
Nwabuzor, assured that all the suspects would appear in court after ongoing investigations into the crimes are concluded.
He listed the areas of operations of the suspected cultists in Benin Metropolis to include Obagie, Iyobosa, Siluko/Ogida quarters, and Lagos-Benin Expressway.
According to the police spokesman, “Today (Thursday), we are showcasing the suspects the Crack team and anti- cultism Units of the Command arrested. Anti-cultism while acting on a distress call and visibility patrol in Benin metropolis held that some group of boys gathered and they are suspected to be cultists. Immediately, they swung into action and that led to the arrest of the suspects.
He alleged that fire arms were recovered from the suspects, including one locally made pistol, one pump action, charms, a face cap and flags belonging to the cult groups in addition to a live cartridge which were displayed during the parade.
Speaking on his level of involvement, Nosa Osayawe alleged that the leader of the gang, ‘Solo’ who is his childhood friend, promised to give him the sum of N150, 000 to enable him secure an apartment and rehabilitate himself having lost his means of livelihood after he returned from Ghana.
“I am a Fashion designer who returned from Ghana to Edo State, Nigeria four years ago.
“I work as Volunteer. I worked with Vigilantes in Evbue-Okhuenbor Community. I always do security work in the Community. I travelled to Ghana and returned to Nigeria four years ago when we had crisis in our Community that made the Villagers to chase us away including my sick mother.
“I wasn’t involved in the crisis. I had to come back when I learned that my mother fell sick. I kept my personal items with some of my friends to see if I could raise something to rent a house before the incident in which I was arrested occurred.
“He (Solo) called me yesterday and said I should meet him up at Delta Filling station at Aduwawa. When I asked him about the three persons were going together, he said they are on their way coming.
“He said I should drive to undisclosed destination and I accepted to drive along with my Childhood friend, Solo.
“Suddenly, one Camry 2.4 parked. And a guy nicknamed ‘Skele’ came arrived, we began our journey immediately.
“The owner of the car who was by the wheel wanted to struggle the steering initially, but when my friend Solo pointed a gun at him, he apologized and surrendered his car after an argument.
“But, they did not allow me to drive, another person took over the wheel. When we got to Ramat park, the car owner was pushed out of the vehicle unhurt and proceeded to Murtala Mohammed Way where an argument ensued among three others.
“Thereafter, we left for my Community — Evbue-Okhuenbor via Aduwawa Community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State and eventually parked the car in my younger brother’s house until the following morning.
“At dawn, I went to inform my younger brother that we were about to leave. As the guy was about to drive the vehicle, it did not start. I went to call one automobile electrician around the area. He tried to start the car severally, but all to no avail.
“I was arrested while waiting for the electrician to get another car battery to start the car in my brother’s house.
“My childhood friend, Solo, promised to give me about N150,000 to hire an apartment.
“They knew me very well. Some of the Vigilantes in that Community are my relatives, I also work with them. One of them who is my elder brother had hinted me that they have been patrolling and trying to track a stolen vehicle.
“So, when my elder brother went inside the compound, he saw the car without a number plate and raised the alarm that led to my arrest. Consequently, when I called Solo on phone to draw his attention to what has happened, he and other accomplices escaped.
“Meanwhile, I saw one hand bag inside the car containing snatched handsets, a clipper and other items, including a locally made shot gun”, Osayawe said.
Narrating his ordeal, the criminal suspect, Osabuohien Arumuda said, “I was opening my shop when a motorcycle brought Osayawe to my workshop that his car is faulty and that I should come and assist him to fix it.
“When I got there, I discovered that the battery of the car has ran down. Immediately, I went back to my workshop to get another battery. As soon as I returned and fixed the battery, police operatives surrounded and arrested us”.
“I will not start a vehicle for anybody. Rather, anybody that wants my assistant, they should come to my workshop. If I did not go to his house, I would not have been arrested”, he lamented.
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