The police in  Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, have arraigned a top bank robbery suspect, Rasheed Ganiyu, 38, who along with nine other members of his gang now at large, allegedly robbed three banks in Shagamu, Ogun State, and carted away the sum of N685 million.

They were also said to have killed three persons, namely Waheed Alaba, Ismail Olasoji and Balogun Oyelere by shooting them at close range with AK 47 rifles during the robbery operations which took place on 24 November, 2011.

Weapons recovered from the suspects, according to the police, include nine AK 47 rifles, welding equipment and seven hammers. The robbers raided the banks with explosives, rocket launchers and a multi-purpose machine guns.

The then Ogun state Commissioner of Police, Nicholas Nkemdeme, said while parading some suspects, that Ganiyu was arrested a day after the robbery, while trying to move his share of the loot.

According to Nkemdeme, Ganiyu and his friend, Tajudeen Alase, were arrested on a motorcycle at Ogere and N1,551,000 was recovered from Ganiyu.

The Ogun police boss said one Sienna car marked LT 671 EKY; one Toyota Hiace Bus marked LA 65 A45, with Lagos State Polytechnic inscription; live ammunition and Indian hemp were also recovered from Ganiyu.

Ganiyu denied taking part in the robberies. He said he collected the box containing the recovered money from a boy in his neighbourhood, who was being hunted by the police.He said he was trying to hide it when he was arrested.

The suspect was later transferred from Ogun  state to Lagos where he was arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s court on 8-count charge of armed robbery and murder.

The police alleged in the charge sheet that the accused and others now at large on 24 November 2011 robbed three banks in Sagamu, carted away N685 million and shot three people to death.

The matter is being prosecuted by Supol C.N. Odii. The plea of the accused was not taken as the lower court lacks the power to try the matter.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Aigbokhaebo ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody pending the advice from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, DPP, on the matter.

She adjourned the matter till 24 May, 2013 for mention.

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