by Zara Mustapha
A suspected cross-border gun runner, 47-year-old Abdulazeez Amao, has allegedly confessed to the police how he supplies guns and ammunition to armed robbers.
According to reports, Amao was arrested in his house at Ayegun Adasun in Ibadan, Oyo State, western Nigeria, after he was implicated by a suspected armed robber, Olatunbosun Olatunji, 48, who alleged that Amao supplies him guns for operations.
It was gathered that items recovered in Amao’s house include 10 AK47 rifles and 19 magazines all loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.
The two suspects were paraded on Tuesday by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Manko at the command headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos.
While making his confession, Amao denied that he was involved in armed robbery, admitting that he was only a businessman that deals in arms which he buys from his customer known as Zakari Watara in Burkina Faso.
He revealed that their network cuts across three countries- Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic, while Nigeria is the destination for the weapons.
Amao revealed that he smuggles the weapons into the country by packing them inside milk cartons and transporting them to Paraku town in Benin Republic.
He said he repackages the rifles in Benin Republic and hides them inside sacks containing yam flour (Elubo) and then transports them to Ibadan, Oyo State capital, through Kabo border.
Amao said he has many clients but his biggest customers are robbers who make him good offers, disclosing that most of his customers are from Onitsha in Anambra State, eastern Nigeria.
He admitted that he had supplied various guns such as AK47 rifles, and English made pistols and bullets to his clients.
Amao revealed that he also services the weapons when they develop fault if the owners return them for such purposes.
He, however, noted that none of his customers have ever introduced themselves as robbers to him but he knew some were criminals.
“They cannot come to me and tell me I am a robber and I will sell gun to them. But as an adult, such demand for arms might be for robbery or to cause violence in the society.”
While parading the suspects, Manko explained that Amao was arrested by the men of the State Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, following the arrest Olatunji at Suberu area of Ikorodu, Lagos.
According to him, Olatunji confessed that Amao supplies gun to his gang and sells them for N320,000 each.
Manko said following the confession, SARS decoy team was deployed to Ibadan and after eight days of intensive investigation, Amao was arrested in his house where some arms were recovered.
The police said the suspects will be charged to court after investigation.