A 27-year-old notorious bank robbery suspect, Ikadoi Isere, alias White Witch, who was arrested recently by operative of the Inspector- General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, stunned Crime Alert during an exclusive interview by disclosing that he was appointed a Special Adviser to Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, on Oil and Gas matters, prior to his arrest.
A native of Nambe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the suspect was arrested alongside two others; Daniel Gogo, aka Full-Payment and Ifeanyi Kalu. They were accused of participating in no fewer than 15 bank and bullion van robbery and kidnappings across Port-Harcourt, Rivers State and some South East States.
Police sources disclosed that three Ak47 rifles, a Lar rifle, 360 rounds of live ammunitions, 20 magazines, five dynamites, two pistols, a rifle servicing equipment and three exotic cars, were recovered from the suspects after their hideouts were raided in Bayelsa State.
The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated; “White Witch and members of his gang had killed over 20 policemen and made away with their rifles in separate robbery operations within Port-Harcourt City, between 2012 and 2016.” He described the gang as one of the city’s most dreaded robbery gangs, identifying, Daniel Gogo, who is popularly known as Full-Payment, as the leader.
The source further disclosed that having gathered credible intelligence on the gang’s activities between 2012 and 2016, operatives trailed them to Bayelsa State, where they were arrested and large catch of arms and ammunitions were recovered from them. They reportedly confessed during interrogations that they made over N400million from robbing several banks and bullion vans, including kidnappings of prominent businessmen, civil servants and oil workers across Port-Harcourt.
Confession of gang leader
The leader of the gang, Gogo alias Full-Payment, told Crime Alert that he invested a large chunk of his share of the loot in setting up a local oil refinery within the creeks of Bayelsa State, while his patner, Isere, alias White Witch, stated that he invested a large share of his loots on his siblings, wife and his aged mother. He added that he also used some in sponsoring the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the last General Election in Bayelsa State.
He explained that he mobilized people to vote for PDP and used the gang’s rifles to protect electoral materials during the last Governorship Election at Nembe Local Government Area of the State. White Witch told Crime Alert that he joined the gang in 2010, when one of his elder brothers who is a member of Vikings Confraternity, linked him to the gang leader called Full-Payment, in Port-Harcourt. “I am a member of Icelander Confraternity and I am the executioner in-charge of Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. My elder brother IJB, who is also a member of Vikings linked me to my boss, Full-Payment, who is also a member of Vikings and he asked him to assist me.
He accepted and brought me into the gang. At that time, I was highly frustrated because after I finished learning underwater welding through the Presidential Amnesty Program, I had no job.
I wasn’t getting the complete amount from the stipend given to ex-militants of the Niger Delta. Before the money will get to me, it has gone through several persons and when I will receive mine, it will remain only N20, 000. There was nothing I could do with such an amount. I have a wife and children to fend for and my siblings are still in school and they are looking up to me.
Our first operation
“ The first operation I went with the gang was at Uguruta Junction on the Port-Harcourt International Airport Road. We attacked some vehicles conveying a huge sum of money in foreign currency. We killed all the policemen escorting them including a man the police identified as the Regional Manager of the bank where the money came from. After that operation, I was given N3million as my share and when I got home, I gave my sister who had already dropped out of school some money to go back to school. I also gave some money to my younger brother who was also in school. I used part of it to establish a little business for my wife.
“Seven months after that operation, my boss told me that there was a job for us at a bank in Trans-Amadi in Port-Harcourt. We were five persons who went for that operation and our target was a bullion van offloading money into the bank. Two members of our gang walked into the bank like customers who wanted to make use of the ATM, with short guns and shot into the air when they got close to a point where the bullion van was.
The people offloading the money absconded. We drove our car into the bank and carted away a large sum of money which our vehicle could carry since we came with just one car. At the end our operation, I got N12million as my share. My boss and others who are seniors in the gang got lion share.
Time to quit
“After that operation, my boss told us that he was quitting and everyone should go and look for what to do with their money. When I got home, I bought a car, rented a big apartment and I decided to go into politics. My boss also told me that he wanted to set up a local refinery so I linked him to one of my uncles who was also into such business. Before the 2015 election, I and my boss had meetings with some of the political heavy weights in Nembe Local Government and we offered to work for them during the election.
To show them that I was serious, we assured that we were going to bring out our arms, ammunition and money to support them and they promised to give me pipeline surveillance contract in my area. But one month before the election, I became very broke and my boss has also invested all his money into his local refinery business, we were left with no other option than to go for one more operation.
Back to base- another operation
“ Our informant, one Promise Barisnsia, who had once worked in a bank, alerted us about a bullion van that would supply money to a bank at the main Campus of Rivers State University of Science and Technology, UST. We trailed a van supplying money to the bank and we shot into the air to scare both the policemen, bank security men and workers around the bank and they absconded leaving the bullion van open. We carted away a large sum of money which our vehicle could carry.
Encounter with the police
“On our way out of the campus, we passed through the back gate but unknown to us, there were policemen hiding inside the bush. When I stepped out of the vehicle to open the gate, I was shot on the leg, but my boss came out and gave me a cover. We shot the gate open and escaped. But the policemen kept on chasing us. They shot at the boot of our vehicle and one of the bags containing some of the money we stole fell off and the policemen also deflated three of our tires. We stopped another vehicle and transferred all our goods into the new vehicle and escaped. I was given N6 million as my share of the loot and I used part of it to treat my bullet wound.
Time for election
“When it was time for election, we brought in lots of boys, from Rivers, Delta and Imo States to work for PDP, Bayelsa State and we paid them with our own money. After the election, I was appointed a Personal Assistant to the Chairman of Nembe Local Government Area, who gave me a Toyota Hilux van with a government plate number. I was also linked to the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor. By October of that same year, some of our gang members became very broke and they called on my boss, Full-Payment, asking him to allow them do one last job which would fetch us enough money to enable us quit robbery, completely. Our informant told us that money was to be supplied to a bank on Trans-Amadi Road Port-Harcourt.
……yet another operation
“On the day of the operation, we stormed the bank with three SUVs and when the bullion van arrived to supply money, we attacked it by shooting into the air to scare people away. The bank was close to a police station and the police had blocked the route in front of their station. My boss who had a highlander drove in first and we loaded his vehicle with huge sums of money and when he was about leaving, we discovered that some soldiers had blocked the route we intended to escape through.
Then, my boss decided to escape through a very narrow road linking him to Mummy be Road, but unknown to him, some policemen had already laid ambush and he drove into it. He was shot on the thigh and his driver, one Kennedy, was also shot and their vehicle came to a halt. I was behind him in another vehicle when this happened and I quickly approached him and rescued my boss. We abandoned the vehicle and all the money in it. The next day in the news, I read that the police recovered N350million from us.
Time to finally quit
“That operation was a huge loss and my boss vowed never to participate in any robbery activity again. In December, when the governorship election came, I was given N3million by PDP and I brought in my boys and we worked for them. We ensured that all electoral materials were intact and we prevented people from the opposition party from snatching ballot boxes.
We also had some policemen working for us during that election. Between January and February, 2016, While I was waiting for PDP to fulfil the promises they made to me, and my boss was still nursing his injury, I took our rifles from Bayelsa State with the government Hilux van that was given to me and police escort and organized our boys.
Operation with government vehicles
“We attempted to rob two bullion vans, one was at Agip Junction by Ada-Gorge Road and the other was at Emenike Junction on Ikwere Road, Port-Harcourt. We failed in those operations but our informant, Promise, brought a job at Fidelity bank and warned that we must not allow the Operation Manager of the bank to leave the bank if we must succeed. We attacked the bank around 4pm. We accosted the woman while she was about leaving the bank and we took her back into the bank. We blew up the security doors, and shot indiscriminately to scare people. At the end of the operation, we retrieved the RDV from the CCTV recording machine to avoid our faces being detected. We returned to Bayelsa State with the government Hilux leading the way. We made N24million from that operation and I got N4million as my share.
Arrest at last
“Two weeks before my arrest, I was been shortlisted as a Special Adviser to Bayelsa State Governor, and we were waiting for him to return from his trip abroad so that he would swear us into our various offices. I did not know that the police got to know about my activities. I was shocked when they trailed me to my house and arrested me and I took them to my boss and he was arrested too. They recovered our arms and ammunition,” he lamented.