It was gathered that the victims – Alhaji Yakubu Musa and Alhaji Hassan Umoru – had gone to carry out a business transaction with the syndicate on March 14, 2019.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Mu’azu, was said to have directed the SARS operatives to investigate the matter when the duo were reported missing.
During investigation and subsequent arrest of the suspects – Oluwatosin Olarewaju, Mayowa Olawuni and Babatunde Idris – the bodies of the operators were reportedly tracked to a septic tank in an abandoned building.
However, it was learnt that the suspected leader of the syndicate escaped.
In his confessional statement, Olanrewaju said the gang bound and shot dead the victims in an abandoned building in the Odogunyan area of Ikorodu after the men paid N1.6m into an account they provided.
He said, “Our leader, Pencil, and I planned the deal. Pencil said I should convince the operators to come that an Alhaja wanted to buy $10,000.
“The operators came on a motorcycle and called us from Trailer Park bus stop, Odogunyan. Pencil asked another motorcycle rider to take the operators to a boys’ quarters around Odogunyan. By the time I joined them at the boys’ quarters, I met them lying down with their hands bound. Pencil asked me to lie on the floor as well to make it look like I did not have a hand in the plan.
“Pencil told them that the Alhaja they came to meet owed him $10,000 and that his gang came to collect the money. They beat up the operators and I also received my fair share of the beating to make it look real.
“The operators begged Pencil to stop beating them; that they would give him money for their freedom. Pencil instructed them to transfer the money into an account. But when he called to know if the money had been paid, the account holder said no.”
Olanrewaju said Pencil changed the game plan and killed the operators to cover up.
“At the point that Pencil changed the plan, he threatened to kill me alongside the operators if he did not receive an alert on the payment. He said he suspected I was pulling pranks by asking the person at the other end not to reveal that he had received the alert.
“One of the operators then suggested that another account should be given to him to pay into. That was when I contacted a nurse who treated me when I was sick. The BDC operators paid in N1.6m to that account.
“By 8pm same day, Pencil and the gang members tore the operators’ clothes and used them to cover their mouths. When I asked him why he was doing that, he asked if I wanted to teach him his job. He took one of the operators to the backyard and later sent for the second one. He shot both of them dead and said that was the only way to cover our tracks since the operators already knew me.
“Afterwards, we contacted the nurse and she withdrew N500,000 initially. She later gave us another N500,000 and a balance of N470,000. I got N340,000 as my share of the deal.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation was ongoing.