The police in Lagos State, yesterday, said they have arrested a 29-year-old man, Samuel Mayegun, aka, Asiwaju, who masterminded the 2012 and 2013 robberies at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
More than N750 million was carted away from Bureau de Change operators by Asiwaju and his gang in the two operations while two policemen were killed.
Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, led by Superintendent of Police, SP, Abba Kyari, in March 2013, rounded up eight members of the gang, remaining Asiwaju, who went into hidding.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, who paraded Asiwaju and four others before newsmen at the state command headquarters, Ikeja, said he received an intelligent report that Asiwaju and some of his new recruits were about to strike at Ikorodu area of the state and he sent his men to apprehend them.
According to him, "Asiwaju was traced to a location where he was planning a mega-robbery for the next day and the officer in charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, who led a crack team of operatives to Ikorodu apprehended him and four members of his gang, identified as Abiodun Adebayo, Ezekiel Anthony, Ibrahim Sao and Femi Osiyelu.
"One General Purpose Machine Gun, GPMG; one AK-47 rifle, 10 fully-loaded GPMG magazines, two double barrel locally made pistols and a Volkswagon Sharon car, with number plate LAGOS BDG 155 AX, were recovered from them."
2012 and 2013 airport robberies
Meanwhile, Asiwaju, who is from neighbouring Ogun State and a resident of Ijebu-Ode, confessed to the crime and begged for a second chance.
According to him, "I am an armed robber and I started in 2012. My first major operation was at Murtala International Airport, Ikeja, in 2012, which I was the mastermind.
"The informants brought the job to me and I contacted, K Money, Atoba and four others. I was also the one who was at the airport to survey and monitor the movement of the money.
"I got N45 million at the end of the operation, this was because, Arab, the guy who brought the guns we used for the operation hijacked the whole money as we were about sharing it.
"He loaded a large sum into a travelling bag and gave each of us N45 million, including the two informants.
"I invested my share of the loot on landed property and I bought some trucks I used for transportation.
"But news of the our exploits went around in Ijebu-Ode because some of the boys who went to the robbery couldn't control themselves.
"They started talking carelessly and people knew that we made lots of money from the operation. I gave out some of the money to some boys who came asking for their share in order not inform the police.
"I quit robbery minding my business, when in February 2013, some of the boys who went for the 2012 robbery with us became broke and instigated me to organise a second robbery also at the airport.
"The operation was unsuccessful because we encountered traffic on our way to the airport and two policemen who were on escort to the airport foiled the operation.
"They fired at us, killing one of my boys and we brought them down too. The shooting alerted the people carrying the money and they escaped with it.
"All my gang members except me were arrested after the robbery and my AK-47 rifles were also recovered.
"I went into hiding and I could not contact members of my family because the police had arrested them. Some times I slept in the bush because there was no place I could go. I also could not secure a job because I was informed that my picture was everywhere.
How they were arrested
"Last month, I bought a new SIM card and contacted one of my brothers, asking him to assist me get out of the country and he promised to assist me.
"I didn't know that he was with the police. After a while he called and said one of his friends in prison gave him a job and he would want me to execute it.
"I asked how I could get a gun for the job and he linked me up to a man in Abeokuta who gave me an AK-47 rifle.
"On January 9, 2014, I arranged some boys and we went to Ikorodu to execute the job, but unknown