A Mechanic, Saheed Olaniyan who led a gang of robbers to a church premises to steal a bus, has been arrested by the officers attached to the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team.
The mechanic who plies his trade at Ilesha area of Osun State, stole a vehicle he repairs, a Toyota Hiace Bus which reportedly belongs to the St. Peter‘s Anglican Church. The suspect who broke the bus’ side window glass, unlocked the steering and drove it to Lagos, reportedly stormed the church premises with two members of his gang, Bolaji Azeez and Adebola Adekunle, to steal the bus in the dead of night.
The mechanic was arrested alongside his accomplices at the point of selling the bus, after the church reported the stolen bus to the police. 25-year-old Olaniyan who said Azeez contacted him that a friend, Adekunle, wanted to buy a Hiace bus for N1.2m, said after he looked around to get a bus for sale without success, he hatched the plan to steal the church’s.
“I live close to the church and help the church to repair the bus. Azeez called me that his friend, Adekunle, needed a Hummer (Hiace) bus and I told him I did not have any for sale. I promised to look around and get back to him.
“Three days later, I saw somebody drive the church’s bus along the street and it occurred to me that I could make a deal out of it. I called Azeez that I had got a bus but that it belonged to the church. I asked him to come with his friend, Adekunle, so that we could steal it.
“They came to Osun on February 26, 2018. We entered the church premises at 11pm and hid somewhere until 1am when we struck. I had never engaged in this kind of thing before. It was money that tempted me. I want the police to have mercy on me.”
Adekunle who disclosed that he was in dire need of a job after he came out of prison in January 2018, admitted that he contacted Azeez to help him get a bus he could use for commercial purposes. According to him, after he was told there was a bus in Ilesha they could steal, he agreed to pay Azeez and Olaniyan N400,000 each if the operation was successful, adding that they decided to sell the vehicle because he could not get the money to pay them.
“I live in Lagos. I was a tanker driver. I went to prison last year because of shortage of the petroleum product I discharged at a filling station. I spent two months in the prison before I was released in January 2018.
“After I came out, I started looking for a job. I called Azeez, who used to repair the tanker I drove, to help me get a bus that I could use for transportation business. He said he would contact his friend in Osun. Three days later, he called me that he had found one in Ilesha.
“We went there and met with Olaniyan who took us to the church premises at night. It was agreed that I would pay them N400,000 each. We broke the side window glass of the bus to gain entry. Olaniyan unlocked the steering and connected some wires to start the bus. We drove it out of the church compound and brought it to Lagos on February 27. We took it to a painter in Ikorodu.
“They were disturbing me for their share but I could not get the money I was expecting from somebody to pay them. We later decided to sell the bus. Somebody linked Azeez to a buyer, unknown to him that he had been set up. The buyer eventually turned out to be an IRT official. Azeez led the police to arrest me. Police asked him to call Olaniyan to come to Lagos for his share and they arrested him.”