MUSLIM cleric Alhaji Rasheed Ayuba has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for being the mastermind of an armed robbery gang that specialises in hijacking and stealing cars.
Alhaji Ayuba, 42, who hails from Igbesa in Ogun State, was apprehended along with Falade Igbekele, a transporter in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital who reportedly bought six of the stolen cars. During the arrest, a bunch of master keys and about 13 other car keys, as well as charms, were recovered from Alhaji Ayuba.
According to the police, Alhaji Ayuba, who also teaches at an Arabic school in Ishasi in Lagos State, was caught sometime in June after he entered a hotel in the Ikotun area to steal a Toyota Camry parked on the premises. He was driving out the car when he was caught by vigilantes in the neighbourhood, who handed him over to officials of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Alhaji Ayuba said: “I finished from an Arabic school in Ikotun and started teaching Arabic in Ishasi. At about 11pm on June 8, I went to a hotel around Ile-Iwe bus stop to steal a Toyota Camry but I was arrested by the security guards in the area.
“I got the master keys I used from John, who is from Benin Republic after we met in 2013 in Lagos and he sold the master keys to me. Since then, I have been using them to steal cars but it was only four cars I had stolen this year before I was arrested.”
Mr Igbekele, 52, confessed to have bought six cars from Alhaji Ayuba, saying a friend introduced him to the cleric. Both defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges before the presiding magistrate, Mrs O A Olayinka and were admitted to bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two sureties each in like sum, with the case was adjourned until November 8.