A former member of the Department of State Services, DSS, Prosper Israel, was paraded alongside nine other suspected robbers by Abia State police.
Parading the suspects to reporters, State Police Commissioner Janet Agbade said the armed robbery gang was part of the 14-man robbery gang that ambushed a bullion van near the Ntigha junction of the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway on July 26, 2022 During the robbery, they killed a next generation bank teller at the scene and took away an undetermined amount of cash carried by the bullion van.
CP Agbade, said their arrest was the reward of months of painstaking efforts and investigations.
”I have carefully studied their modus operandi and set up a Technology Intelligence Led Special Investigation Team (ITLIS) with a clear directive to arrest and recover the weapons used by the murderous armed robbery gang.
Therefore, the investigation systematically started the operation, applying speed and precision, and in different places and days, arrested the following ruthless gang of armed robbers,” she said.
The police chief named the suspects as Adesoji Adeniyi from Ondo State; Nnamdi Nwaosu aka “Prophet”; Chinwendu Israel of Abia; and Prosper Israel (former DSS staff), also from Abia.
Others were Nwachukwu Albert aka White (first lover) from Delta State but residing in Lagos; Felix Ajaja of Ondo State; Moshood Opeyemi, from Osun State; and Matthew Christmas also from Delta. Also among the suspects were Azubuike Amaefula alias Zubby from Abia; and Monday Samuel (second gunsmith) from Delta but residing in Ondo State.
Exhibits recovered from the suspects include a general purpose machine gun (GPMG); 13 AK 47 rifles; a cut-to-the-waist double-barreled pistol with five active rounds; 84 AK 47 magazines. Others were two improvised explosive dynamites; a Mercedes Benz mini-truck used to conceal firearms; and in cash of N10, 184,000.
According to the PC, the suspects during interrogation confessed to placing the bullion truck under surveillance for two months. CP, which said efforts were underway to locate three other gang members still at large, pleaded with members of the public to always provide information on suspected criminals around them.
She said the suspects would be brought to justice after further investigations.
When questioned, the former DSS officer begged for forgiveness, saying it was the first time he would be involved in a crime.
He said he initially served in the Abia State Government House but was removed from his post in 2007 after being belatedly reported to a new position. According to him, it was his brother who gave him some of the money he made from the operation.
”My role in the operation was that I was in my house when my brother brought money and his colleagues and they shared and gave me some of it.
I asked him and he told me how they got the money. I want to beg forgiveness because I failed to reprimand him. So obviously I participated because I can’t say I didn’t. But it was unintentional and I want society to forgive us,” he said.