Detectives attached to Igando Police Station on Iba Road, Lagos State have arrested two men who allegedly just arrived from Niger Delta via waterway to carry out a bank robbery. The suspects, identified as Chinedu Okoro and Keme Patrick, were apprehended on Tuesday.
The suspects were arrested after their motorcycle was flagged down by policemen who were on routine patrol duty. Two other motorcycles, carrying about two passengers, refused to obey the policemen and disappeared. Preliminary investigations showed that Okoro is just a hired motorcycle rider while Patrick just arrived from Delta State, with others now at large, to carry out bank robbery.
The bank robbery is supposed to take place at Abule- Egba tomorrow (Friday). The suspect, who claimed to be a cousin of former leader of the Niger Delta militant, Ateke Tom, said he was also a former militant. Fielding questions from detectives at Igando division, Patrick said that he only knew the name of the area, but not the particular bank they would be attacking.
He confessed to have taken part in the FESTAC town robbery, where dynamites were used to blow up banks before robbers in military uniform entered the banks and carted away millions of naira. A mother and her child were killed by the robbers’ stray bullets.
A police source said: “On Tuesday, about 6a.m, policemen from Igando Police Station were on ‘Stop-and- Search’ duty when they sighted three motorcycles. Two of the motorcycles had two passengers and golf bags. The police flagged down them down, but two refused to stop. The policemen were able to arrest the motorcycle which was in the middle.
“The golf bag was searched. One AK49 rifle, 81 rounds of ammunition and six magazines, two mobile policemen uniforms, two mobile police caps, two military belts and one camouflage uniform were found inside the bag.” The source explained that the suspects were taken to Igando Police Station, where Patrick confessed that Okoro was just a charted motorcyclist.
During interrogation, Patrick said that he was related to Ateke Tom. “He said he was a former militant. He said that he had been arrested before and taken to SARS in Lagos. He was charged to court by SARS, but granted bail by the court three months ago. He said that they just arrived Lagos State a few minutes before our men arrested them,” the source said.
The source confirmed that Patrick was earlier arrested for robbery but got bail from the court because no gun was found on him. Patrick also told detectives that he and other gang members were supposed to meet at Abule-Egba to fine tune the robbery which was supposed to take place on Friday, before they were arrested. According to him, the three motorbikes were all heading to Abule-Egba.
The police source added: “They are supposed to meet at Abule-Egba, where they would carry out the bank robbery.
Patrick said he did not know Abule-Egba. He said that the two motorbike riders that escaped were leading him to Abule-Egba. “He said the two motorbike riders and their passengers were part of their robbery gang.
He said that they are the people that know the bank that would be robbed on Friday morning.” When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Joe Offor, confirmed the arrest. He said: “Two bikers were arrested with AK 47 rifle. But we have not determined the motive for carrying arm.”