By HEMBADOON ORSAR
A Benue State-based pastor, Edwin Anayo, has denied being an robber claiming he only bought a Lexus Sport Utility Van from some people for N650,000.
Anayo said this in Makurdi, the Benue State capital as its police command paraded nine suspected armed robbers who specialised in car and motorcycle theft. The suspects were apprehended in different locations of the state and had allegedly been terrorising the state for the past three months.
The command’s Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, who took journalists round the suspects to interact with them and also see the stolen items, explained that the arrest was in continuation of the ember months operation order which the command had put in place to nip in the bud any security threat associated with the celebration of the Yuletide and to combat all forms of crime in the state.
He said, “These suspected armed robbers were caught through Pastor Edwin Anayo who bought the Lexus jeep at the cost of N650 000.”
In an interview, Anayo, the suspected buyer, who said he is the pastor of Salvation Ministry, 72 Battalion in North Bank, Makurdi and married with three children admitted buying the vehicle and a handset from the suspects saying he did not know it was a stolen vehicle.
Bright Eze the second suspected buyer on the other hand was arrested in connection with a Red Highlander SUV which was also snatched at David Mark bye pass in Makurdi by the same gang and sold to him at the rate of N1million.
Eze who said he was a generator mechanic at Benue Crescent Makurdi and is married with four children confessed that he bought the jeep at N1m and made a deposit of N650,000.
One of the suspected robbers, Liambee Tor, said he was a driver with the office of the state auditor-general adding that he could not explain why he went into arm robbery.
“We stole the Lexus jeep from a woman in Ankpa quarters but it was not at gun point. We did not carry arms. My friends and I broke into the compound and saw the woman in the parlour with her husband and we asked for the key and they gave us. We took the car and drove off and sold it to Pastor Anayo for N650,000. For the red Highlander, we met one man in the dead of the night at David Mark bye-pass having sex with a woman in the vehicle. We accosted them and asked them to get out of the car and give us the key and he obliged and we took the vehicle and changed the colour from its initial green to red and sold it to Eze at the cost of N1m,” one of the robbers said.
But the CP said following a distress call that some armed robbers were operating at Ugondo community opposite Makurdi International Market, SARS operatives on their way were accosted by gunmen, suspected to be robbers and were engaged in a gun duel.
“After engaging in a gun duel with our men and they were over powered, they abandoned a red Honda civic with registration number CM 541AAA and one Toyota corolla with registration number WDP 463 AA and ran into a nearby cassava farm and escaped,” the CP said.
Makama, however, warned criminals and intending ones to key into the change begins with me of the Buhari-led administration and engage themselves in useful ventures that would improve their livelihood rather than taking to crime.
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