This Offa robbery suspect has been identified as Michael Adikwu, a former police officer who worked for SARS until six years ago (NAN)
One of the suspects wanted by the Nigeria Police Force in connection to the robbery attack that led to the death of dozens of people in Offa, Kwara state last month has been revealed to be a former police officer.
Nine police officers and dozens of others lost their lives when a group of at least 30 armed robbers attacked Union Bank, Eco Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank, as well as the Owode Police Station on April 5, 2018.
Even though the official death toll for the incident is nine policemen and eight civilians, reports have indicated between 30 to 50 people died as a result of the attack.
In a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Jimoh Moshood, on Friday, May 4, 2018, he released pictures of four suspects who are still at large and wanted in connection to the crime.
According to a report by The Punch, one of the suspects, Michael Adikwu, was a police corporal who was attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Kwara State command before he was dismissed in 2012.
Adikwu was reportedly dismissed for aiding the escape of some robbery suspects and was arraigned in court and spent about three years in prison before he made his way out and created his own gang.
A senior police officer told Punch, “He (Adikwu) was a SARS operative at the Kwara State Police Command. He used to fraternise with robbers. There was a robbery that happened in Kwara State about six years ago. The robbers killed somebody and escaped. The police were able to arrest those robbers.
“He collected money from those robbery suspects and released them. Later, the robbers were rearrested and they confessed that he aided their escape. He was arrested, tried in an orderly room trial and dismissed.
“He was charged to court together with the robbery suspects and was in prison for three years. He and some of the robbers were able to manoeuvre their way out of the prison and formed a robbery gang.”
Adikwu arrested by police for Offa robbery
After his picture was released by the police alongside that of three others last week, Adikwu has been arrested by the police after a tip-off from members of the public.
According to a source that spoke to Punch, he was arrested on Tuesday, May 8, by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team in a community in Kwara.
The source said, “The lead was given to the police by an informant. His hideout was cordoned off and he was arrested. He was apprehended by the IRT operatives in a community in Kwara State.”
N5 million bounty on wanted suspects
While speaking on May 4, ACP Moshood disclosed that the Kwara state government has promised a bounty of N5 million for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects who are on the run.
He said, “Protection of the informant will be guaranteed by the police and handsome rewards in addition to the pledge of Five Million (N5,000,000) by the Kwara State Government await anyone whose information leads to the arrest of these wanted suspects.”
He said the suspects have been placed on the watch list of the International Police and listed hotlines on which members of the public can contact with any information that could lead to their arrests. The lines are 08062080913, 08126285268, 08032365122, 07056792065, and 08088450152.
He also disclosed that a total of 20 suspects have been arrested in connection to the robbery incident.