Police sergeant narrates how he sold service pistol stolen from ex-station officer to cult members
A 38-year-old police traffic officer, Haruna Yusuff, has narrated how he stole a pistol belonging to the former Station Officer in charge of Omu Aran Divisional Police Station Ehigimetor Ileso, and sold it to suspected cult members in Kwara State.
The Guardian gathered that the former Station Officer was eventually dismissed from the force over the missing pistol, which eventually led to his death a year later.
Haruna was arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Osogbo, following a report that some suspected cult members were coming from Kwara State to unleash mayhem in Osun State.
Others arrested alongside the officer include; Tajudeen Olalekan Hammed, Chukwudi Eze, Alebo Elijah, Alebo Israel, Abimbola Olaonipekun and Olarinde Abiodun.
Haruna said: “I joined the police as a constable in 2008. I am from Benue State, but I have been serving in Kwara State since I was enlisted. I was first posted to Omu Aran Division and later transferred to other Divisions in Kwara, but I am now back in Omu Aran.”
The traffic officer, who claimed not to have stolen the pistol, which he sold to the cult members said: “ I didn’t steal it. I don’t know what came over me. I saw the pistol at the mosque.
“ I can only say that I am sorry. Out of the two arms that I sold to him, one belonged to the Omu Aran Divisional Police Station, while the other one was locally-made. The one that belonged to the Division, I saw it outside the mosque behind the police station.
“ I didn’t know that it belonged to the SO, It was about three years ago. I got a locally made pistol in Benue State. The person who sold it to me is dead now. We went for burial and he was talking about selling it and somebody directed him to me. I bargained with him and bought it from him.
“When I picked the gun, it didn’t occur to me to take it to the station, despite the fact that I knew that it was not valuable to me. I didn’t know that I was going to be using it because I don’t know what actually came over me. I mistakenly sold the gun. “I have never been involved in any selling or stealing of gun before. The SO is late now. Later I heard that the Division was looking for the gun. I was afraid to recover it and hand it over to the armourer.
“I sold the guns to a Disk Jockey ( DJ) in my area. He has a shop around Traffic Junction in Omu Aran, where I served, I didn’t know that he was a cult member. I sold the locally made pistol to him at N25, 000 and the English pistol at N47,000.”
On how he felt, when the late SO was being tried for the missing pistol, the suspect claimed that he was not aware that the SO was arrested.
“I feel very sorry, when the trial process was going on, I was not at the Division,” he added.
On his part, Eze, a -33- year-old DJ, who hails from Enugu State claimed he also sells phone accessories at Traffic Junction. He said he bought the guns from the police officer for self-defence because of the nature of his work.
He said: “I bought the two guns from the officer but I discovered later that I could not use the police pistol. I sold the two guns to “Rector”, who is a student of Kwara State Polytechnic because I didn’t want to lose my money and somebody connected Rector to me.”
However, a police source said that Eze is a strong member of a confraternity in Omu Aran despite the fact that he is not a student of any higher institution of learning in the state.
In his confession, a student of Kwara State Polytechnic, Olalekan, popularly known as Rector and one of the leaders of Aiye Confraternity in the school, in whose possession some of the arms were recovered, said he bought the arms for the ‘Temple’ — the code name for the assembly of Aiye members.
The Sagamu Ogun State-born suspect, who confessed to belonging to a cult group said he was initiated into the cult by a former student of the school, who promised to help him.
Rector, who claimed to be a Higher National Diploma (HND 2) Business Administration student of Kwara Polytechnic, said he has been a member of the cult since 2016.
Osun State Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, who confirmed the arrest of the police sergeant and the cult members to newsmen, listed, one police beretta pistol, one locally-made revolver pistol, two locally fabricated pistol, one local cut-to-size short gun, 11 live cartridges, five knives, three battle axes and one cutlass as some exhibits recovered from the gang.