Akinade Albert Akande, the owner of one of the cars hijacked at gunpoint by robbers in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara state, in 2018 has spoken about the disappointment of never recovering his property.
In December 2018, Akande had given his car to Tunde Adekanye, his friend and resident of Abuja like him, who intended to visit his sister in Ilorin.
However, at about 8pm on December 26, 2018, Precious, Adekanye’s niece, was robbed while returning home after running errands for her visiting uncle.
“She was just about to open the gate to her parent’s house when one of the robbers attacked her,” Adekanye told FIJ while recalling the experience.
“The robbers were going to kidnap her but couldn’t do that when I ran after them. The event happened on the night of boxing day in 2018.”
After reading FIJ’s investigation on the illegal dismissal of two detectives of the Kwara State Police Command, Adekanye identified his friend’s car that was stolen. On a Facebook group where the report was shared, he commented:
“I was a victim of a car snatcher in December 2018 at Ilorin. To my surprise, the same system the robbers applied to snatch the car was what you wrote in your report.”
Afterwards, Adekanye referred FIJ to Akande who described the car in a way that matched most of the features of the car recovered by the Kwara Police, with the exception of the now-changed number plate.
“My car is an ash-colour Toyota Corolla, with a part of the colour near the headlamp already peeling. The mirror is adjustable and the car uses alloy rims for the tyres,” Akande told FIJ.
Adekanye noted that the case was reported to both Adewole Police station and the Kwara Police Command but nothing has been heard from the two stations ever since.
A source, however, confirmed to FIJ that Akande’s car had been released to the suspected gang robbers since July 2020. The car was one of the five cars recovered from John Opagbile and Charles Oluwatuyi, the two suspects arrested from Nasarawa State in October 2019.
FIJ’s investigation in February had confirmed that the release of these two suspects mid-last year was an attempt to shield Habeeb Ajadi, the leader of a notorious car theft network in Kwara State, from arrest.
Sources confirmed that Adegboyega Oyeleye, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Admin) of Kwara, was involved in the release of the car to the suspects.
Significantly, Oyeleye was the same police head who signed the dismissal of Shola Akano and Babatunde Glorious — the two policemen who uncovered the car theft network.
‘GO AHEAD AND PUBLISH YOUR RUBBISH’, ACP Tells FIJ
Multiple sources fingered Oyeleye as the principal actor against the reinstatement of these two policemen illegally dismissed since July 2020.
When FIJ contacted him on the new development, he responded angrily before ending the call.
“I am not the Investigating Police Officer of the case neither am I in the investigation department of the Kwara Command,” he said while denying any involvement over the missing car at the police custody.
“I am aware of the rubbish you have been publishing about this whole case. Go ahead and publish it again.”
On different occasions when FIJ engaged Ajayi Okasanmi, the Kwara Police spokesman over the issue of the dismissed officers, he had invited FIJ’s reporter to a physical meeting at the Command in Ilorin instead of stating his case.
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