Forty-two-year-old Alfa Ahmodu Raufu was a well-known Quranic teacher who also attended to the needs of clients who sought spiritual help from him at Mosfala area of Ibadan, Oyo State. He was also the one leading prayers at the mosque in his neighbourhood.
It was no wonder then that the residents almost resisted the arrest of their spiritual leader by police detectives from Mapo Division recently, until they got to know that he allegedly masterminded the invasion of a neighbour’s house by armed robbers. Not only that, he also allegedly recruited the armed bandits that carried out the operation, hosted them before they launched out and prayed for their successful operation!
This was revealed at the Oyo State Police Command headquarters in Ibadan last Thursday during a press briefing by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade. Raufu was also arrested with other suspects namely Ismaila Suleiman (25), Abiodun Oladiran (23), Ayuba Aderemi (29) and Kehinde Bashiru (21).
According to the police commissioner, a four-man robbery gang invaded the house of one Musbau Ganiyu Akinyemi at Mosfala area of Ogbere, Ibadan on July 26 at about 1.00a.m, armed with gun and cutlasses, and robbed him of bulk recharge cards of different networks worth N3.5 million, about N1.8 million cash and assorted mobile phones, all totalling about N5.3 million. Oyebade said that the victim escaped though the back door of his residence to avoid being killed by the robbers.
“After the successful operation, the bandits abandoned a cutlass at the scene which was later recovered by detectives from the Ogbere Division. However, a follow-up investigation carried out by detectives from the Mapo division led to the arrest of one of the robbery suspects, Ismaila Sulaimon and Raufu, as well as three receivers of the stolen items at Oranyan, Idi Aro and other hideouts in the Ibadan metropolis,” Oyebade told Crime Reports.
He said that investigation revealed that it was Raufu who supplied the gang with information about his neighbour and had also directed them to a cement dealer who could not be attacked that same night because of the excitement over the loot the gang got from Musbau.
Among the exhibits recovered were quantities of MTN, Glo, Airtel and Etisalat recharge cards of various denominations, a brand new motorcycle which Sulaimon allegedly bought with his share of the loot and some cash.
While speaking with Crime Reports, Sulaimon said that the robbery idea was sold to him by one Murphy and another man popularly known as 20. “I knew Murphy at the place of a friend known as Biodun a.k.a. Abbey. I am suffering from covetousness and greed because I don’t have a reason to rob. I was into sale of charcoal which was yielding money for me.
“On Monday, July 25, Murphy and 20 called me that we would go and rob someone of recharge cards. We went to Alfa Amodu’s house at about 11:00p.m. and when it was 1:00a.m on July 26, Alfa woke us up, prayed for us that our operation would be successful and we left for the place. We were four in number. We went with cutlass and 20 also held something that looked like a gun which he wrapped in a handkerchief.
“Murphy and 20 broke in while I waited outside with the fourth person whose name I don’t know. They came out with a lot of recharge cards and money. We returned to Alfa’s house and I was given N160,000 while Alfa was given N200,000. The recharge cards were also distributed among the five of us. At about 5.30a.m, Alfa opened the door and we left in different directions.
“I gave my own cards to Biodun to sell for me while I used the money given to me to buy a new motorcycle. I was arrested when the police got Biodun. I am married with two wives and three children while my girlfriend is also currently pregnant for me.”
One of the receivers, Biodun who ran hemp joint, claimed that he didn’t know anything about the robbery.
“Sulaimon is my friend. On Tuesday, July 26, I saw Sulaimon who gave me some cards to sell for him, claiming that it belonged to his aunt. I sold N6,000 worth to one Kehinde and N5,000 to another,” he told Crime Reports.
The Alfa, repotedly from Arowojeka family at Idi Aro area of Ibadan, also told Crime Reports: “I am a Quranic teacher and clients consult me for spiritual help.
“It is true that the armed robbers left for their operation from my house but it was Murphy who told me that he was coming to my neighbourhood to rob. I also prayed for their success but I didn’t know they were going to Musbau’s place. They went for the operation and came back to stay with me till daybreak. At 5.30 a.m., they left and I went to the mosque to pray.
“From there, I went out. When I returned, I saw Musbau crying that his shop had been burgled. I told his sister that nemesis would catch up with those who perpetrated the act. I was given N200,000 and recharge cards. I have returned N135,000 with the recharge cards which I had not touched when I was arrested. I have never done such a thing before.”
The victim, Ganiyu Musbau Akinyemi, told Crime Reports that he had to run for his life when the robbers came to his house and threatened that they would bathe him in his own blood once they could get in.
“I got injured in the process and by the time I returned, I discovered that they had made away with my money, recharge cards and phones worth over N5 million. Since then, they have put me in trouble over debts,” he said.