How We Robbed FCMB of N15 million, Lekki Robbery Gang Suspect Reveals
Two months after they held the Lekki axis of Lagos hostage and robbed a First City Monument Bank (FCMB) branch, the suspects who have been arrested, Wednesday revealed how they carted away N15 million from the bank.
Fresh facts emerged that the suspects were also pipeline vandals, who constantly terrorised the Arepo area of Ogun State.
The gang had on Thursday, March 12, 2015, stormed the bank on Admiralty Way, Lekki, carted away N15 million and killed five persons, including three policemen during the attack.
Wielding sophisticated weapons and dressed in military camouflage, the gang had accessed the bank in two speed boats through the Lekki waterways.
As of yesterday, four of the suspects, namely, Duke Odogbo, 38; Lawrence Kingsley, 31; Ebi Tosan, 20; and Ekelemo Kuete, 30, were being held at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command.
Confessing to the part he played, Odogbo said he was invited to join the operation by one of his friends whom he identified as Vika.
He said: “I was in Warri, Delta State when the operation was planned by our leaders in Arepo. I got about N500,000 as my share in the N15 million we stole in the operation.
“We left for the operation from an Island close to Abule Oba area of Ikorodu. Initially, I thought it was for us to go out to vandalise NNPC pipeline.
“But I got to know that it was robbery when I arrived Arepo. We left there in two speed boats to Lekki on Wednesday, but one of the boats developed problem along the way.
“We slept in a creek at Lekki because it was late. The next day we proceeded to the bank. Five of us entered the bank, five stayed outside the bank, while the remaining five remained in the boat.
“I blew open the door to the banking hall. We asked the staff of the bank to call their manager. We came out with the sum of N15 million. When we came out, we left the same way we came.
“It was while we were in the boat that I discovered two strange AK 47 riffles. I demanded to know where it came from. I was told that they got the guns from some policemen they killed.
“They told me that they saw a police patrol van parked by the side of the road and immediately opened fire on it, killing the three policemen on the spot.”
For another suspect, Kuete, who operated one of the boats on the day of the operation, he said he got only N50,000 as his own share from the stolen money.
He said: “I must confess, I knew that we were going to rob a bank. I am a bunkerer at Arepo and I make at least N80,000 from each bunkering operation.
“I remained in the boat along with four others while the other 10 members of the gang left for the bank. When they came back, they said we should leave immediately. We headed back to Arepo where our leaders shared the money according to individual involvement.”
Parading the suspects, the state Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, said one Honda Accord 2008 model, one white blackberry Z10 phone, one white Apple iPhone 5, one military face cap and 130 expended ammunition were recovered from the four suspects so far arrested.
He said: “After the movie like action, the bandits left in their trail five corpses, three of which were policemen who though on another assignment patriotically and gallantly engaged the bandits in a duel in order to forestall their operations.
“The three gallant policemen were Inspector Bethel Agbobu, Sgt. Odehowo George and Cpl. Imoisiu Ikechukwu. Two civilians were also mowed down by the dare devil armed robbers.
“They were Sowemimo Kabiru, Miss Sarah Ibikunle, a 15-year-old girl who sells fish around the vicinity of the bank.”
Aderanti said following the attack, he immediately directed the officer in charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations and the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID) to fish out the fleeing gunmen.
He said: “Following the directive, Kyari and his men through advance technology were able to track the suspects. Some of the suspects were traced to Delta State from where they were arrested, while two others were arrested in Ogun State.”