The operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Monitoring Team have arrested eight robbery suspects, who allegedly carried out several operations in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Until their recent arrest, the police noted that the eight-man gang had committed a number of murders and made large sums of money from their operations. From where the eight of them sat while they were being paraded, one could safely deduce that they were regretting whatever led to their arrest.
In his stunning revelation, one of the suspects, Johnson Aikko, who spoke extensively to journalists, said he was a bricklayer in the Gwagalada area of the FCT before he was introduced to armed robbery by two friends; Ava and Nautical whom he met at a bar.
“I accepted gleefully because of the way I saw them spending money,” he added.
The names of the other suspects were given as Ibrahim Suleiman, aka, Scorpion; Pius Gabriel, aka Double Spirit; the arms supplier, RaboYakubu; the receiver of their stolen goods, Oladimeji Ikotun; UmaruNda, Matthew Ofe, Nicodemos Shittu and OgbonaChidubem aka Oyibo.
He explained that he and the other gang members were operating with locally made revolver rifles until after the 2015 general elections when one of them was used as a political thug and was given two Ak47 rifle by politicians.
Stigma, 30, who hails from Benue State explained that the rifle they used in their first operation was sold to them by a policeman.
He said, “There was a day Avan and Nautica called me that they were ready for big business, but they needed ammunition. Ava then contacted a prison official who he met during his stay at Kuje Prisons and the official linked him to a mobile police officer who started selling ammunitions to us. He sold a round of the live ammunition to us for N400 each and we bought over 150 rounds for our first operation.”
Stigma recalled that their first operation was at a highway in Abuja where they snatched bags from people and that all he was given from the operation was N4,000 and a smartphone. He added, “I don’t know how much was made from that operation, since I was new. We also did some small operations within Abuja and Nassarawa State and after each successful operation, Ava and Nautical usually travel to Benue State where they have farms. I think they were investing more of their loots in farming.”
He explained that even as an armed robber that has taken part in many robbery operations, he would not forget in a hurry one of their operations where his colleague shot a pregnant woman in her private part after giving them what she had. Beyond that, he said one other person was killed while the woman’s husband lost his two legs as part of the severe injuries he sustained during the attack. The venue of the operation was Super Cell Estate in the Apo area of the FCT.
He explained further, “Nautica led a group while Ava and I were in the second group. That night I don’t know what came over Ava, it was as if he was high on drugs. The first apartment we entered we met a pregnant woman and we demanded for money. Apparently, she was scared and then Ava screamed at her and she brought out N150, 000 in N500 denomination and handed it over to me.
“But before I knew what was happening Ava opened fire on the woman and shot her in her private part. I was stunned when I saw that. He also shot the woman’s husband before we went to the next apartment where we were given just N4,000. When we left the estate, I was filled with guilt for taking part in such carnage.”
He was also quick to mention an incident where they opened fire on some Fulani herdsmen in their sleep. He recalled that they went for an operation in Gold City Estate in the FCT and that eight of them went for the operation. Apart from stealing 12 “exotic” cars from residents of the estate, they killed six herdsmen and that he had no regret doing that because his kinsmen had suffered similar fate from the herdsmen.
He narrated, “The operation was coordinated by Nautica. On the night of the operation, we stormed the estate in a taxi. After taking the security men hostage, we started breaking into people’s houses and the first thing we looked out for were keys of exotic cars parked within the estate.
“Four of the guys Nautica brought drove the vehicles out of the estate to our waiting buyers in Masaka. Once the cars arrived, trackers on the vehicles were removed and the vehicles would be taken to Jos and other parts of the country. We robbed that estate for three consecutive times using the same pattern and on each operation we normally left with four of their cars, but in our last operation, while we were escaping through the bushes, in Lugbe, we saw about six Fulani herdsmen sleeping.
“As we approached them, Avan ordered that we should kill them all because they were the ones killing our people in their farms in Benue State. I was carrying one of the locally made rifles and we rained bullets on them in their sleep, killing all of them. I had no regret killing those people, because they are also very ruthless.”
On hearing that some of the members had been arrested, Stigma said he took the Ak47 rifles in his possession to Jos where he sold them to a community leader who said he needed to them to protect their community.
“I sold the rifles to the community leader for N600,000 and I also bought 50 live ammunition from one Rabo who was supplying arms and ammunition to people in Jos. I didn’t know how the police knew where I was, they stormed my house and apprehended me.”
Police sources affirmed that the gang, armed with three AK47 rifle and four locally-made revolver rifles, carried out several high profile armed robberies around residential estates in Abuja, where they carted away, cash, exotic cars, jewellery, laptops and mobile phones.