The Ondo State Security Network Agency, known as Amotekun Corps, has said it rescued 17 travellers who were attacked by a gang of robbers along the Ifira Akoko – Ido Ani Road, in the Akoko South-East Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The corps said the travellers were going to Abuja from Lagos State on Tuesday when the robbers attacked them at the bad portion of the expressway.
Two members of the gang were arrested by men of the corps, but one died at the hospital.
Parading the suspect at the command headquarters of the corps, Alagbaka, Akure, the state Commander of the corps, Akogun Adeleye, said the suspect shot at his colleague during an argument after the operation, adding that the robber gave up the ghost at the hospital he was taken to for treatment.
Adeleye explained that the robbers engaged his men in a shootout, but the hoodlums were overpowered, and one of them, identified as Musa Jamiu, was arrested.
He said, “An 18-passenger bus was waylaid and led into the bush along Ifira-Akoko on January 11, 2022. We were reliably informed that the vehicle was attacked just outside Ifira-Akoko on its way to Abuja.
“After a pursuit, we found out that the vehicle veered into the bush and men of the Ondo State Security Network Agency followed them. At the end of the day, we caught up with the robbers; they opened fire on our men and thereafter, we were able to apprehend two of them.
“One of the armed robbers was angry with the other one for leaving traces and fired his colleague in the thigh. We knew he was trying to conceal some facts and our men quickly rushed the injured one to a nearby hospital, where he later gave up the ghost. We were able to apprehend the ring leader of the gang.
“We also retrieved the bus with number plate FKJ 430 XV, as well as the belongings of the victims. We also gave first aid to all the victims, 17 of them. We will ensure that they continue their journey back to Abuja safely.”
The 32-year-old suspect, Jamiu, who claimed to come from Okene, Kogi State, said he was introduced to robbery by his friend, adding that it was his first time getting involved in a highway robbery.
He said, “I am a farmer at Elegbeka. I went to Okenne to celebrate the New Year festival when a friend of mine, MG, called me that why was I suffering as a farmer. He promised to assist me. I didn’t know that he wanted to introduce me to armed robbery.
“On Tuesday, MG called me that I should come to Isua-Akoko Junction and I met him there with another person he brought along. So, the three of us went for the operation.MG was the one who supplied the guns and bullets.”
The driver of the bus, Mr Agboola Kabiru, said the vehicle was attacked by the hoodlums at a bad portion of the expressway, adding that they were dispossessed of their belongings before the Amotekun Corps came to their rescue.
He said, “I was forced to stop the vehicle after they began to shoot sporadically into the air. They collected the key from me and drove the bus into the bush. It was inside the bush that they began to rob us of our belongings. After they collected our possessions, they left us inside the bush and drove our vehicle away.
“It was when we came out of the bush that we discovered that the bus had been abandoned about a kilometre from where we were robbed. As we were trying to look for the key to the bus, we saw Amotekun officers who asked us what happened and we explained to them.
“One of the Amotekun operatives went to help us get a rewire that would start the bus and the rest went inside the bush. They trailed the armed robbers and arrested them. We were robbed around 3.30pm and we left that spot around 8pm.”