Police parade Auxiliary over alleged gunrunning

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Culled From Tribune

THE  police in Lagos State have paraded  a former chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers  (NURTW) in Oyo State, Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, popularly  known as Auxiliary, for  allegedlly stockpiling  arms and ammunition ahead of  the 2015 elections. Auxiliary was, on Tuesday, paraded before newsmen at the state police command headquarters by the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, who reiterated  the commitment of the police to peace and security of lives of people in the state.  Nigerian Tribune gathered that Auxilliary was arrested after his alleged arms supplier was arrested by the police and confessed to have supplied arms and ammunition to the Ibadanbased  transport unionist. The arrested former leader, though he admitted acquiring arms and ammunition illegally, accused the leadership of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State of victimising him for political reasons. The police in the state also paraded 10 other suspects who allegedly   used military uniforms and other  paraphernalia to commit crimes and to intimidate civilians. The former NURTW factional leader was said to have been on the wanted list of the police in Lagos and Oyo states before he was eventually arrested by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. According to the police in Lagos, Mukaila was arrested with one AK-47 rifle, one 9mm pistol, five Automatic Pomp Action rifles and asssorted ammunition, which he  reportedly acquired from one  Abdulazeez Amao, who was  arrested by the police recently.

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Manko said: “Sequel to the arrest of notorious illegal arms dealer, Abdulazeez Amao, who smuggles AK-47 rifles from Mali and Burkina Faso to Nigeria on March 10, 2014 and the recovery of 10 AK-47 rifles, Amao confessed that one Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, the immediate past chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the NURTW, bought one AK-47 rifle and one English pistol from him.

“Consequently, I directed the officer in charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Abba Kyari, to go after Alhaji Mukaila, hence two SARS Lagos ‘Decoy’ teams were briefed and deployed to Oyo State with extensive GSM data obtained from Mukaila’s phone number.”

He continued that “after three days of diligent follow up, Mukaila was intercepted and arrested at Olodo area of Ibadan on May 10, 2014, at about 2.30 a.m. while driving in his Ash colour Nissan Quest space bus.

“He confessed to have given his AK-47 rifle to one Tirimisiyu Olowoposi in Ibadan. Efforts to arrest the said Timirisiyu proved abortive, as he is already aware of Mukaila’s arrest. Kyari and his men are working hard  with a view to arresting him soonest.”

Auxilliary told  newsmen that  he acquired the guns to protect himself against assassins who were after his life as a result of his role in the activities of NURTW in Oyo State.

He also stated that he sensed victimisation from the All Progressives Congress (APC) because he was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that he was very popular among the people.

The former Oyo NURTW leader said: “I actually bought these guns. I bought the AK-47 for N350,000 and the pistol was also bought for N350,000. I bought them to protect myself because there was a time armed assassins were after me. I don’t rob with it. I know where all these victimisations are coming from.

“The APC wants to rope me because I am in PDP. They asked me to join them, but because I refused to join their party, they decided to put me in trouble. I am a strong member of the PDP and I don’t regret it.”

John Musa, one of the arrested fake soldiers, told the Nigerian Tribune that he used Nigerian Army uniforms to help commercial  bus drivers evade harrassment by policemen and  transport unionists in the state.

The suspect said: “I escort vehicles which carry goods and commercial vehicles too to avoid being harassed by policemen and members of the NURTW. I am paid N3,500 per day for the job.”

He added that “I never knew I would be caught. It was one soldier at Ojo Barracks who exposed me and handed us over to the military police, who, in turn, handed me over to the police area command.”

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