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By NBF News

Barely 24 hours after a gang of armed robbers attempted to overrun Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, two members of the gang have been arrested by the state police command.

The armed robbers engaged men and officers of the state command in a gun duel using sophisticated weapons which included rockets, bomb and dynamite last Tuesday.

Commercial activities were paralyzed during the raid last Tuesday, forcing both motorists and residents to desert major roads in the state capital.

Among those arrested were Obinna Ajah and Ogbonnaya Agbaborusike.

The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Musa Daura, who paraded the suspects yesterday said the robbers were arrested after a thorough combing of the bush where the bandits fled after the violent encounter with police.

Daura, who paraded 23 other suspected criminals received accolades from the state Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. The daring feat of the police command last Tuesday brought Daniel to the police command headquarters and expressed his confidence in the personnel of the security organization to fight criminals in the state till they were ejected.

'You remember that recently, some robbers killed four policemen in Ijebu North Local Government; so my visit is to commend the police force and also commiserate with them on the death of the four policemen.

'But we have been able to see that our policemen are up to the task and it is a signal that other criminals cannot find this place as a base of operation. Most of these criminals are from neighbouring states,' Daniel said.

However, there was a mild drama during the govenor's visit when one of the suspects urged Daniel to help facilitate his release.

The suspect who told the governor that he was never a robber added: 'Otunba please help me, I am not a robber.''

When Daniel asked what brought him there (Eleweran), the suspect said: 'Otunba I am not a robber, they just found India hemp in my possession.' Daura, who acknowledged the support of his counterpart from Oyo State, said he was informed of the approach of the bandits by the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bola Bolanta, that some cross-border robbers were on their way to Abeokuta from the Oyo State capital.

'At 1.05p.m, these robbers, operating in Sports Utility Vans drove dangerously to the checkpoint mounted by the police and engaged the men in serious gun duel for about 20 minutes. They, however, fled the area due to the superior fire power of the police. We succeeded in arresting one of them yesterday and this one was arrested by our men this morning,' the police commissioner said.

One of the deadly gang members, Obinna said he had tricked the villagers, where he fled with others after the shootout that he was stranded in the area. He also explained that the robbers had converged on Ibadan from different locations, saying one Nnamdi, who was now at large, co-opted him into the band.

His words: 'We were only asked to stand in front of UI (University of Ibadan); seven of us, five Ibos and two Yoruba. So, Nnamdi and some others went to town that morning and came later with two cars and two jeeps (SUV). Our intention was to go to the express (Lagos-Ibadan Expressway) to snatch some cars and cross the border but we didn't know the way very well; that was why we came to Abeokuta,' concluded the suspect.