Four suspected armed robbers who were alleged to be members of a gang who broke into a branch of an old generation bank in Ilututu area of Ondo State, on Christmas eve, have said that they were shocked when they opened the bank’s vault and discovered that it was empty. The suspects identified as Ebibo Winoh, Michael Mipera, Thankgod Sugha and Idowu Sobijoh, who were rounded up last weekend, by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (SIRT) in Ondo State, were said to have broken into the bank through the aid of a security guard, who had worked with the bank.
It was gathered that the guard, who was sacked last year, was said to have approached a member of the gang, Michael Mipera, a native of Ajapa in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, with the idea of robbing the bank, as there was less security around the bank at night. Police investigation disclosed that Mipera, after conducting his own survey around the bank, invited two of his friends, Thankgod Sugha and Ebibo Winoh, from his hometown to Ilututu and rented an apartment for them. He was also said to have invited six militants based at a camp in Ijegemo-Isheri Oshun, Lagos State, headed by one TK, a notorious of pipeline vandal and bank robber. Their other members from Lagos, which was led by one Bright, was said to have supplied the gang with two AK 47 rifles and additional expertise on how to break into bank.
On their arrest, our police source said that a day after the incident, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, had received an intelligence report on the gang’s activities and he deployed operatives of the SIRT, headed by CSP Abba Kyari to Ondo State, to track and apprehend the suspects. Four of the suspects was arrested in Ondo while the fifth suspect, a militant was picked up in Lagos.
At the police station during interrogation, the suspected leader of the gang, Micheal said that they monitored the bank for weeks before the struck. “After the bank’s former security man gave us information, we rented a room close to the police station in the community. We found a petty job, as a form of distraction while we monitored the activities of the police and that of the bank. We discovered that at night, there is no private security official or policeman guarding the bank.