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    We’re cultists, not armed robbers — Suspects beg police

    We’re cultists, not armed robbers — Suspects beg police

    Members of a notorious gang who have been terrorizing Ayinga community in Dekani Local Government Area of Kogi State, in recent time are having difficulty convincing operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response, IRT, that they were not armed robbers but cultists.

    Nigerian police

    Five pistols, 15 rounds of 9mm live ammunitions and assorted charms were recovered from the suspects, who were identified as Kazeem Mudi, Nasiru Yusuf, Riwa Aminu and Oki Yakubu, when operatives of the IRT, stormed the house of the gang leader, Oki Yakubu, following an intelligence report on the gang’s activities.

    The suspects, in an interview with Vanguard confessed that they were members of the Vikings Confraternity, otherwise known as ‘Arobaga’ and they have been engaged in protracted battle of supremacy with members of a rival cult group, Black Axe Confraternity, over the control of Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State.

    The gang leader, Oki Yakubu, told vanguard that the guns, ammunitions and charms which were found in his house when the IRT operatives came, were those he and his group have been using in waging wars against their rivals.

    But a police source who spoke to Vanguard on the condition of anonymity disclosed that the suspects, have carried out several armed robberies and killings around Ayingba and other communities within Dekina Local Government area of Kogi State, stating that the intelligence report which led to their arrest emanated from the office of the Inspector General of Police and passed on to the IRT, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

    The source explained that a crack team of operatives were deployed to Ayingba community to track down the suspects and they discovered on arriving the community that the suspects were highly dangerous as they move around the community and its environ with guns robbing and intimidating people.

    The source added that a member of the gang, Kazeem Mudi, was apprehended first at Ayingba Market Square, after he successfully robbed some traders in broad daylight of their cash and mobile phones at gunpoint.

    He said  “He was arrested by IRT, while he attempted to escape from the market square.  The sound from the shot he fired while robbing his victim was what attracted the IRT to that market and they apprehended him on his gate-away motorcycle and recovered the pistol he used for the operation.  He was interrogated and he confessed that members of his gang were in Oki community waiting for him to bring home his loot from the robbery and that his gang leader had more guns in his house.  He was taken to the home of his gang leader who when he sighted the police ran into the ceiling.  He was chased out, arrested and he led the police to arrest two other members of the gang and they confessed to have robbed an Igbo businessman in his shop recently using one of the guns recovered from the gang leader’s house.  I am not worried that the suspects are claiming not to be armed robbers but cultists.  It is normal for criminals to reduce the veracity of their crime once they are caught with credible evidence so as to gain some sympathy”, he stated.

    Their confessions

    When interviewed, 21-year-old Kazeem Mubi, narrated how he joined the Arobaga Confranternity, but he denied robbing traders at Ayingba market, stating that he was at the market to attack members of Black Axe Confranternity, when he was arrested. “I joined th Arobaga Confranternity in 2017 and one of my friends, Rabiu, who is now dead, introduced me to the group. I didn’t know that the Arobaga had an ongoing war with members of the Black Axe Confranternity. I was attacked by membersof the Black Axe Confranternity the moment news got into town that I was a member of rival cult. My friend Rabiu was killed  and my house was completely burnt but I managed to escape. I went to our leader, Oki and demanded a gun I could use to avenge the killing of my friend and burning down of my house, when I learned that some  members of the Black Axe Confranternity were at Ayingba Market Squarely. I went there with the gun Oki gave me and I shot at one of them when I sighted him and when I attempted escape the police showed up and and arrested me. I took them to Oki’s house where he was arrested and four other pistols were recovered”.

    While narrating how he and three  other members of his gang robbed an Igbo businessman, who does business at Igiolo community, in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nasiru Yusuf said, “I am a member of the Arobaga Confranternity and I joined the group three years ago. I led three of my friends to rob a grocery shop belonging to an Igbo man in Ayingba and it was my gang leader Oki who gave me the gun for the operation. We took N100,000 from the man and I got N20, 000 as my share. I ran away to Abuja when policemen  came looking for me. They didn’t succeed in arresting me then. It was when I came back to Ayingba and I visited Oki that the police picked me up again.”

    On his part the gang leader, Oki Yakubu told Vanguard that he joined the Arobaga Confranternity due to intimidation from rival cult group.  “Members of Black Axe Confranternity, usually oppressed my friends and I. We then we decided to  join Arobaga and since then we have been fighting. I own four of the pistols that were recovered from me, I bought them for my protection. The charms that were recovered from my house belonged to my late grand father. I don’t use them for armed robbery. The Black Axe guys fighting us are so deadly. They have killed more than eight of my friends in the last two years. So we need these guns for our protection”, he lamented.

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