Robbers arrested by the Nigeria Police Force Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji-Adele Street, Lagos State have said they are given guns by a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APC chieftain has been identified as Honourable Odeyemi Itunnu.
According to the police, Itunnu is also a Local Government Executive in Efon-Alaaye, Ekiti State.
After the arrest of the gang, FSARS said it recovered 17 of their stolen cars in different parts of the country, most of which were Toyota and Honda models.
Three assorted guns were also recovered from them.
Itunnu confessed that he gave Omoniyi Ajewole a locally made gun to protect him during the election period in Ekiti State.
The Ekiti State governorship election was held on June 21.
The police said the gun had been recovered.
Itunnu said: “Omoniyi (Ajewole) is my political thug. I brought him to my place and gave him a gun to secure me. Actually, I have never participated in any robbery operation, but he used to escort me with the gun.
“All of us, who are chieftains, were given slots in the state and we were working for the state government. Every political party, including ours, has factions.
“That was why I gave him the gun, so that he could always protect me wherever I went. I also told him to be with me, particularly as the Ekiti election then was approaching. But before the elections, I just saw the police then coming to my house to arrest me.
“I had seen the gun on the ground during the 2007 elections violence in the state and had kept it.”
Other members of the robbery gang are Omoniyi Ajewole, Oluseye Jacob, Oluwadamiliare Rasaki, Ajisafe Olawale, Ogunniyi Sunday, Tolani Babatunde, Abubakar Umar, Odeyemi Itunnu and Ayodeji Olumudi.
The gang met its waterloo after the arrest of Ajewole, 28. Ajewole alleged that Itunnu was his political godfather.
The police explained that the suspects were arrested after they received a complaint from a victim who had allegedly being robbed of two vehicles.
The victim told the police that aside from the two vehicles, he was also dispossessed of other valuables.
He said the incident occurred on June 27, 2013 at his Ile-Ife, Osun State residence.
It was gathered that the case was later transferred to the FSARS.
Ajewole said: “He gave me the gun to use in protecting him during any campaign violence. But I had not yet used the gun before I was arrested in September 2013.
“I am not a robber. I prefer to be called a political thug. I was the only one the Honourable gave a gun and he was also paying me salaries.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, addressing journalists, said that all the suspects connected with the crime would soon be arraigned before a court of law for the criminal charges preferred against them.
Mba added: “This is a case that started on June 27, 2013 after a Nigerian was robbed of two vehicles and other valuables and he had reported to the police.
“This arrest is one of the achievements of the federal SARS. It led to the arrest of nine suspects who were clearly linked with not just the armed robbery reported, but a series of such in several parts of the country.
“An interesting aspect of the arrest is that Ajewole confessed to the police that he is not an armed robber but a political thug working for Honourable Odeyemi Itunnu from Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State.
“We want to warn politicians to steer clear of actions that are capable of posing a threat to the security of the country. Meanwhile, all the suspects will soon be arraigned before a competent court of law.”
The cars recovered are:
· Toyota Highlander Jeep Model 2008 with Reg. No. GWA-489-BC,
· One Toyota Matrix car Model 2007, Reg. No. RSH-196-DA and other personal effects belonging to the said victim.
· One Toyota RAV-4 Jeep with Reg. No. EPE-477-AC,
· Two unregistered Toyota Highlander Jeeps,
· Two unregistered Toyota Saloon Cars, 2012 model,
· One unregistered Toyota Camry 2009 model,
· One Toyota Avensis Saloon Car with Reg. No. EKY-989-AX,
· One M/Benz E-Class 350 Series with Reg. No. LND-919-EC,
· One Honda Accord Coupe with Reg. No. EKY-857-CH,
· One Toyota Camry car with Reg. No. YEN-902-SY.
· Others are one Toyota Highlander with Reg. No. GWA-489-BC,
· One Toyota Camry with Reg. No. AKD-882-AC,
· One unregistered Sienna Bus and
· One unregistered Toyota RAV-4 2009 model.