Why we couldn’t defend ourselves against Offa bank robbers – Cop

A police officer, Sergeant Sulaiman Mahmoud, who was the station guard at the Offa Police Station on April 5, 2018, when armed robbers attacked five banks and the station, has revealed that the police could not repel the robbers because they had no access to the armoury at the station.

Testifying before the court during the continuation of the trial of the five accused persons arrested for the robbery, Mahmoud said the policemen on duty at the time of the robbery were helpless as they had no guns to confront the robbers.

According to him, the police officer, who was in charge of the armoury, was sick and was sleeping when the robbers invaded the station.

“The policemen on duty could not gain access to the armoury, where weapons are kept in the station,” he said.

Answering questions from the defence counsel during cross examination, Mahmoud, who is the sixth prosecution witness, said he was the station guard on the day of the incident and when he heard gunshots from the robbers, he also fired some shots in the air before he ran into the station office as his own gun got hooked and could no longer function.

He said, “When I noticed that the robbers were advancing towards the police station, I ran into the station office first, but the armoury officer, Inspector Oke Kayode, was ill and on medication and was sleeping in his office when the robbers struck.

“He was the officer in charge of the armoury; he was killed right inside his office, while sleeping because he was on medication at the time the armed robbers invaded the police station.”

The guard, who said he lost his AK-47 rifle during the robbery, added that the gun dropped while he was scaling the fence of the station to escape the superior fire power of the robbers.

He said he could not shoot directly at the robbers because he did not want to kill innocent people, adding, “When the robbers started shooting, people were rushing towards the police station.

“So, I started shooting in the air. I didn’t want to shoot the robbers so that I would not kill innocent people.”

Meanwhile, Justice Halima Saleeman of the Kwara State High Court has ordered the Federal Correctional Centre, Ilorin, to see to the medical complaint of the first accused person, Ayoade Akinnibosun.

The defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe, had told the court that Akinnibosun was having severe pain on his wrist, ankle and right lap.

The counsel added that Akinnibosun “had swelling on his right lap close to his scrotum. The pain has been constant, repeated and severe. He needs a thorough medical examination.”

The five accused persons, Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salahudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran, were present in court on Tuesday.

While adjourning the case till December 21 and 22, 2020, Justice Saleeman agreed to a long adjournment as requested by the prosecution counsel, Razak Gold.

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