The Lagos State Police have pointed out a connection between the judiciary and the escalating crime rates in the state. Commissioner of Police, CP Idowu Owohunwa, made this assertion during a press conference on September 18. The occasion also marked the presentation of individuals suspected of being responsible for the murder of the Personal Assistant to Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, known as Iyayi.
CP Owohunwa revealed that the three suspects had previously served time in prison but had reintegrated into society, where they had become even more dangerous. He explained that the suspects, wearing military camouflage, had intercepted the victim’s vehicle, posing as law enforcement officers. They demanded the vehicle’s documentation, forced the victim into his car, and subsequently shot him.
The commissioner stated, “This case involves a robbery and the murder of Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, alias Iyayi. On August 5, 2023, we received the distressing news of a tragic robbery incident along Ojodu Berger, resulting in the loss of Sanni Adeniyi’s life. Today, we confirm that, through meticulous intelligence work and investigative efforts, we have successfully apprehended the gang responsible for the robbery and murder.”
During the operation, the police arrested three suspects directly linked to the robbery and murder and seized three firearms, including the murder weapon. They also confiscated six live cartridges, six spent ammunition shells, six live rounds of ammunition, and military attire.
The arrested individuals are Fred Azeez, a 43-year-old Lagos resident, Odudu Michael, a 33-year-old from Delta State, and Adedigba Segun, a 26-year-old from Ibadan. Among the recovered items were a brand new Browny pistol with three rounds of ammunition, a Berretta pistol with three live rounds of ammunition, a locally-made short-barreled pistol with six live cartridges, six expended cartridges, and military gear, including a military vest, military jungle hat, military pistol holster, and military jungle boots, which they used during their criminal activities.
CP Owohunwa continued, “During the course of the investigation, we also recovered a red Honda CVR with Registration number EKY 276JD, which was one of the vehicles they had stolen during their criminal escapades.”
The investigation revealed that this gang, allegedly funded and armed by an Alhaji based in Benin Republic, specialized in robbing motorists of unregistered vehicles, primarily targeting brand new or second-hand cars. They admitted to successfully executing at least five operations and described their modus operandi, which involved stationing themselves near Berger bus stop to identify unregistered vehicles approaching the area. Spotters would then alert gang members, often dressed in military attire and stationed further ahead, about the approaching target.
The gang members would flag down the targeted vehicle, creating the illusion of being law enforcement officers. They would request the vehicle’s documentation, ostensibly to maintain their pretense of military authority. However, their primary motive was to avoid scrutiny by the police and Customs officials after stealing the vehicle.
In the case of Sanni, one of the gang members separated him from his vehicle and demanded his documentation, leading Sanni to make a distress call to his wife, explaining that he had been stopped by soldiers seeking his papers. When he presented his documents and asked what more they needed, they forced him back into his car and shot him twice.
Subsequently, they placed Sanni in the trunk of his vehicle and drove away. As the victim continued to cry out for help, the suspects decided to silence him.
CP Owohunwa concluded, “Segun, who was present at the time and took control of the steering, fatally stabbed Sanni in the chest due to his excessive noise. The victim died on the spot. The perpetrators then drove away and abandoned his body by the roadside. Later, they washed the blood from the vehicle in Abeokuta before proceeding through Isheyi to Shikanda in Kwara State. There, they contacted the Alhaji, who dispatched someone to pick up the stolen vehicle and transport it to Benin Republic.”