The principal suspect in the deadly bank robbery attacks in Offa, Kwara state, Michael Adikwu, is dead, according to the police and the state government.
Adikwu took up a life of crime after he was dismissed as a Constable from the police force.
Nine police officers and 24 others lost their lives when a group of at least 30 armed robbers attacked Union Bank, Eco Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank, as well as the Owode Police Station in Offa on April 5, 2018.
Adikwu, a former operative of police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), allegedly confessed to killing at least 22 people during the robbery attack.
The Force Headquarters of the Nigerian police broke the news of Adikwu’s death to the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Kwara on Tuesday, November 20.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kwara State, Kamaldeen Ajibade, disclosed the information as five suspects connected with the Offa bank robbery were arraigned before an Ilorin high Court.
Ajibade told the court that there would be an amendment to the charges preferred against the accused persons in light of Adikwu’s death.
Adikwu reportedly led operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Teams (IRT) to arrest members of his gang in Kwara, Oyo and Kogi states, after the robbery. He was said to have killed the police officers watching over the banks, on the day.
Attorney General Ajibade informed the court that the reason behind the amendment of the charges was that the principal suspect, Adikwu, had made confessional statements to the police before his death.
He therefore urged the court to grant an adjournment to enable his office effect necessary amendment to the charges.
In a brief ruling, presiding Judge, Justice Halimat Salman, agreed with the state Attorney General that there was the need to effect some changes in the charges preferred against the accused, in view of the reported death of the principal suspect and lack of legal representation for the accused persons.
She therefore adjourned the case to November 30.
The suspects that were brought to court on Tuesday were Ayoade Akinibosun, Ademola Abraham, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Niyi Ogundiran and Salahu Azeez.
The court did not take their pleas because of the new developments.
The Offa robbery shook an entire Nigerian nation and sparked calls for tightening of security at banks and business premises.