Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have uncovered a factory in Idata Community, Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos, where arms are fabricated.
Two blacksmiths, Musiliu Gbenga, 21, and Owolabi Azeez, 22, were arrested for the cause of the operation.
The suspects were paraded alongside 30 other suspects for engaging in various crimes ranging from cultism to stealing and illegal possession of firearms. They were alleged to be selling the fabricated arms to criminals.
The command’s spokesman, Benjamin Hundeyin, while parading the suspects at the conference hall of the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos, said the arrests were made in one month.
Speaking on how the factory where firearms were fabricated was uncovered, he said, “Based on actionable intelligence on a blacksmith who fabricated firearms for onward sale to criminals around Idata Village in Ibeju-Lekki, operatives of the Command busted the factory and arrested two suspects.
“Three single-barrel locally-made pistols, one double-barrel locally-made gun, one single-barrel locally-made gun, two single-barrel locally-made long guns, 10 expended cartridges, twelve long pipes, two drilling machines, one gas cylinder, one vehicle, and other fabricated tools were among the items recovered from the factory.”
According to Hundeyin, one of the suspects was a notorious cultist popularly known as Skipo, who was arrested at about 11.45 p.m. on October 11, 2023, over his alleged involvement in the killing of a rival cultist in a hideout in the Yaba area of Lagos State.
He said, “Ganiu Yusuf, aka Skipo, aged 23, was arrested in possession of two 9mm rounds of ammunition. Further investigation led to the arrest of Ikuologbon Tobi, aka Iku, aged 23; Salaudeen Azeez, aged 27; Sanni Jamiu, aka J-boy, aged 26; Ganiu Muideen, aka Stone, aged 23; Odinaka Ojiakor, aged 26; and Farouk Muibi, aka Ozil, aged 22, in different areas of the state, in possession of two locally made single-barrel guns, one double-barrel shotgun, three live cartridges, one dagger, and different charms. Introduction revealed that they are all cult members.”
He revealed that the next day, October 13, 2023, five suspected cultists were arrested after receiving complaints that some groups of boys were shooting sporadically around Church Avenue, Ikosi, according to him.
Among the paraded suspects were “four traders that were arrested in Alaba Market. They are: Emmanuel Chukwuma, aged 19; Chima Alajemba, aged 19; Ogbenna Franklin, aged 42; and Chidi Nnaji, aged 42.
He noted that they were nabbed based on the receipt of complaints from a reputable electricity cable manufacturer about the adulteration and sale of pirated cables using their company’s trademark.
“In addition, operatives of the command arrested one Ogbonna Eze, 27, who disguised himself as a dispatched rider to vandalise vehicles by removing brain boxes and other parts. The suspects will be arraigned in court at the conclusion of the investigation”, he said.
He therefore urged Lagosians in possession of illegal firearms to turn them in, ensuring that they wouldn’t be arrested. This, he noted, was in line with the directive of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, to all commands to mop up arms and ammunition in the hands of non-state actors within their respective jurisdictions.