The Osun State Police Command has arrested three members of an armed robbery gang who specialised in snatching motorcycles (okada), as well as those buying the stolen motorcycles and other stolen goods.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Folasade Odoro, who led other officers from the command to parade the suspects at the police headquarters in Osogbo on Friday, said a member of the gang, an ex-convict, Mutiu Azeez, conspired with one Muyiwa Afolabi to snatch a motorcycle from a commercial motorcyclist in Iragbiji, in the Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State last Monday.
She stated that a commercial motorcyclist picked two passengers without knowing they were robbers, adding that on the way, the two robbers stopped the motorcyclist, overpowered him and tied him to a tree and took the okada from him.
She said, “The robbers were not satisfied with tying the okada rider to the tree as they killed him by smashing his skull with a stone before riding away on the motorcycle.”
The two suspects admitted to stealing the okada and killing the rider.
Azeez said he had spent many years in prison, adding that he committed the crime last week.
The PPRO also said two other suspects – Opeyemi Adeyinka and Isiaka Azeez – were arrested for snatching a motorcycle in Ila Orangun after hacking the owner to death.
“The third member of the gang, who was riding the snatched motorcycle, was crushed to death by a truck in Ile Ife,” she added.
Adeyinka said he and the other members of the gang did not plan to kill the okada rider but said the motorcyclist started shouting his name after they had snatched the motorcycle.
This, he said, made them hack him to death with a machete in order to prevent him from reporting them to the police.
The command also paraded another gang of motorcycle snatchers, Femi Ademoyegun, and Taofeek Adekanye, who allegedly had been snatching motorcycles in the Modakeke and Ife areas.
Ademoyegun and Adekanye were reportedly arrested by the police on July 31.
Some suspects were also paraded for allegedly buying stolen motorcycles, television sets and generators.
A woman, Salimon Isiaka, told PUNCH Metro that she knew her husband, who is at large, was a thief, but she did not leave him because the man promised to stop stealing.
The PPRO said the suspects would be charged to court after the conclusion of investigations.
She also advised okada riders to always be vigilant and watch the kind of passengers they pick up to avoid losing their lives and property to hoodlums.