The leadership of the Oodua Peoples Congress in Osun State, on Wednesday, narrated how its men in Ikire, headquarters of the Irewole Local Government Area of the state, smashed a gang of four robbers terrorising residents of the town and commuters on the Ile-Ife-Ibadan Expressway.
According to the OPC, the suspected robbers were arrested behind the Ikire High Court, off the expressway, after they had allegedly robbed some residents of the area.
Speaking to our correspondent on the incident, the state Coordinator of the OPC, Adedeji Aladesawe, explained that a member of the group in Ikire, Akinlade Oke, led the operation that culminated in the arrest of three members of the gang and a cleric said to be providing spiritual support for the gang.
Aladesawe said one of the suspected robbers was arrested while trying to escape from the scene of a robbery, adding that he later led members of the OPC to their hideout.
Giving details of how the feat was achieved, the OPC member, who effected the arrest of the first suspect, Oke, said he received a distress call from one of his neighbours, Toyin Ilori, around 2am on Monday.
He stated, “I received a call from a neighbour, whose house was attacked. Our area is situated at the back of the Ikire High Court. Before those robbers got to her house, they had attacked two other houses. They were armed with guns, cutlasses and charms. I pleaded with one of my elder brothers, who was at home, to join me. We immediately proceeded to the scene.
“Two members of the gang had gained entrance into Ilori’s house, while one of them was outside monitoring the area. Immediately the one outside saw us approaching, he alerted the others and they took to their heels.
“We chased after them and I was able to apprehend one of them. We both fell into a ditch but I held on to him. I tied him up and interrogated him. He told me where the other members were hiding. At that point, some members of the vigilante group in Ikire had arrived and they joined me. Together, we went to the house where the other gang members were hiding.
“Two of them hid in the ceiling but their spiritualist could not run, because one of his leg is bad. We arrested all of them and handed them over to the police. They were moved to the Criminal Investigation Department in Osogbo on Tuesday.”
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone XI, Mr Leye Oyebade, confirmed the arrest of the suspects during the South West Regional Security Summit held in Ibadan on Tuesday.