by Anike Jacobs
The police have arrested four suspected robbers – Onyenge Osanie, Azuka Eboh, Ezelonwu Michael and Afolabi Shakiru – at a Lagos market who claimed they did not steal from the traders, but only came to collect their dues.
They were apprehended while looting shops and dispossessing traders of their wares at the Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos on December 20.
In their statement to the police, the gang leader Osanie, 35 said the gang robbed the traders and looted their shops, because they refused to ‘settle’ them.
“We usually work with phone dealers in the market who specialise in selling stolen phones. When we steal, they sell, and they then settle us. But later on, some of them defaulted, and we attacked their shops. It was not as if we robbed them, we only came to ask for our money.
“On that day, we had taken only 10 phones before the police apprehended us. I had initially escaped, but two gang members who were caught at the scene later brought the police to arrest me.”
The second in command, Eboh confessed that the gang did not only burgle shops, but also vandalised some property during the operation.
“What we learnt initially was that a market chairman was coming to give out money but he later failed to show up. That was when we decided to deal with the traders. When we got to the shops, we broke their glasses and carted away expensive phones. “I joined the gang because I did not have a job. I have been living in hardship with my family.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the arrest of the suspects.