Three suspected members of a robbery and kidnapping gang who allegedly abducted and subsequently murdered two Bureau-de-Change (BDC) operators in April, 2019, at the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, have been arrested.
They were said to have been arrested from their hideouts in the same Ikorodu by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command.
It was learnt that the victims: Alhaji Yakubu Musa and Alhaji Hassan Umoru, had allegedly gone for a monetary transaction with the gang on March 14, 2019, unknown to them that they were embarking on a trip to their death.
A police source said the gang members allegedly took them to an abandoned building at the Odogunyan area of Ikorodu, where they were bound and shot dead.
This was, however, after they were compelled to pay the N1.6m as ransom into an account provided by the gang to secure their release.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, was said to have directed SARS to investigate the matter after the duo were reported missing.
During investigation and subsequent arrest of three of the gang members: Oluwatosin Olanrewaju, Mayowa Olawuni and Babatunde Idris, the bodies of the victims were trailed to a septic tank in an abandoned building in Odogunyan.
Narrating how the victims were killed, one of the suspects, Olanrewaju said, “Pencil (suspected leader of the gang) and I planned the deal but the intention was not to kill them. Pencil said I should convince the operators that an alhaja wanted to buy $10,000.
“The operators came on a motorbike and called us from Trailer Park Bus Stop in Odogunyan. Pencil directed his own commercial motorcyclists to take the operators to a boys quarters around Odogunyan.
“By the time I joined them at the BQ, I met them lying down with their hands bound. Pencil asked me to lie on the floor too so as to make it look like I didn’t have a hand in the game.
“Pencil told them that the alhaja they came to meet was owing him $10,000 and that his gang had come to collect the money. They started beating the operators. I also received my fair share of the beating to make it look real.
“The operators then promised to give them money for their freedom. Pencil instructed them to transfer the money into one Femi’s account. But when Pencil called to know if the money had been paid, the account holder said no.
“At that point, he changed the game plan. He threatened to kill me alongside the operators if he did not receive alert on the payment. He said he suspected I was playing pranks by asking the person at the other end not to reveal he had received the alert.
“He said if he did not receive the alert by 4.55pm, he would kill all of us. At that point, one of the operators suggested that another account should be given to him to pay into. That was when I contacted Oluwafunmilayo, the nurse that treated me when I was sick. The operator paid in N1.6m into that account.
“By 8pm same day, they tore the operators clothes and used it to cover their mouths. He took one of the operators to the back and later sent for the second one. He shot both of them dead and said that was the only way to cover up our tracks since the operators already knew me.”
Police said afterwards, the trio contacted the nurse and they withdrew the money and shared the proceeds, adding that effort was ongoing to arrest other fleeing members of the gang.