Policemen in Lagos state have successfully arrested a deadly armed robber terrorizing residents of the state.
A 31-year-old suspected armed robber, Mr. Olatunde Adetunji, has told operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) that he and his gang members used to give money to a woman popularly known as ‘Area Mama’ for being their armourer.
It was learnt that the operatives have arrested the 54-year-old Bashirat Akinmushire aka Area Mama. The police alleged that Area Mama was the armourer of the gang.
The police have also accused the woman of being a member of the Eiye Confraternity group in the Isolo area of Lagos State.
Adetunji, who confessed to being the person responsible for taking the guns to the woman for safekeeping, further disclosed that he and his gang members also used to rob bank customers at gunpoint.
He said: “We operate within Ikeja and Isolo areas. After our operations, we would return our guns to Area Mama to keep them for us.”
It was also learnt that Adetunji, who is also a member of Eyie Confraternity, ran into trouble recently after he led some members of his gang to attack a middle-aged woman, working as a salesgirl, on her way to the bank. The incident occurred at Opebi, Ikeja, where the woman was dispossessed of money and cell phone.
Adetunji would have got away with the crime, but the woman saw him a few days later at Toyin Street, Ikeja and raised the alarm. The lady’s shout attracted IRT operatives who were around the area. The men raced to the scene and arrested Adetunji.
While fielding questions from police, Adetunji said: “Members of our gang normally carry out our different operations including robbery and cultism. We keep our guns with Area Mama. She lives at Isolo area of the state.”
A police source said that in an effort to recover Adetunji’s operational rifle and pistol, he led detectives to a market at Jakande Low Cost Housing Estate, located at Isolo, where Area Mama was arrested.
However, Area Mama said that the guns were no longer in her possession as she had given them to another senior member of the gang known as Junior aka Jungle.
When Area Mama was asked to take the operatives to Jungle’s house, so they could arrest him and recover the guns, she allegedly took them to a wrong location, where she also allegedly attempted to escape.
Adetunji disclosed: “ We usually pay Area Mama N5,000 whenever she gives us our guns. I’m a member of the Eyie confraternity and I joined while I was in the university in Ogun State. When I dropped out, I came back home to join members of my cult group in Jakanda Estate. I discovered that they had already procured an AK47 rifle and a revolver pistol. They told me that they bought the guns from a soldier and usually keep them at Area Mama’s shop.
Area Mama is also a member of our cult group. She used to hide the guns at the back of her shop where she sells pepper and tomatoes. She would cover the bag of the guns with baskets and sacks. We have used the guns on several operations. But the main jobs we do with the guns are to fight our opponents who are revival cult members.”
Area Mama, in her own defence, confessed that Adetunji and Jungle forced her to keep the guns for them because she was a member of their group and also took an oath with them to keep their secrets.
She added: “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 guns for them but they threatened to kill me if I didn’t keep the guns for them. Because of the oath we took together, I could not tell anyone that I was keeping guns for the group.
“They used to come for it whenever they have an operation but I don’t know what they do with the guns. After each operation, they would give me N5,000.
“But a few months ago, Jungle came and collected the guns; he is yet to return them to me. I have tried to take the police to Jungle’s house, but he was not there.”