by Isi Esene
Two armed robbery suspects were recently arrested and paraded by operatives of the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeji, Lagos.
The two suspects simply identified as Afeez and Wasiu confessed that have both participated in five robberies each but have never raped or killed any of their victims.
Both suspects, said to be members of a 9-man armed robbery syndicate were arrested with the help of a cab driver who got suspicious of their behaviour while conveying them from Oshodi to Mushin late in the night. According to the Vanguard, the suspects became jittery immediately they saw a police check point at Mushin.
They ordered the driver to stop to enable them alight. When the driver refused, they tried to force the door open, but the driver sped off to the police checkpoint where he eventually stopped.
The police conducted a search on them and a locally made gun was found in their possession.
One of the suspects identified as Azeez told journalists about his involvement in robbery activities: “I am from Osun state, I am married, I have a daughter, I joined the gang 12 months ago, I have participated in five robbery operations within Lagos and Ogun states. I have not made much from the robbery operation. Sometimes, I make
N20,000, N15,000 or N30,000. I also make money from selling phones, gold and valuables we steal during operations.
I was selling Indian hemp at Ojuelegba before the Aiye cult boys forced me to join them, that was how I started robbery with the gang. I was a cobbler when I lost my mother, I could not continue because there was nobody to support me.
I have worked as a bus conductor for more than nine years; I sold Indian hemp for three years before I joined the gang last year when Legba introduced me to the gang. We only use the guns to scare people during operations. I have never killed anyone and I have never raped anyone.
That night, Legba called me on phone to come to Oshodi. When I got there, he gave me a gun to take to his wife at Mushin but on our way, police arrested us. I knew him when I was selling Indian hemp but I didn’t know that he was an armed robber. I am the one who introduced Wasiu into the armed robbery gang. We live in the same area in Iyana- Itire area of Lagos state. I have a four-year- old daughter, I use proceeds from the robbery operations to train my daughter in school. I regret joining the group.”
Wasiu, the other suspects also confessed to being a member of the crime syndicate but pleaded for leniency.
“I joined the gang this year and I have also participated in five robbery operations in Lagos state. We are nine in the group. I was introduced into the gang by Afeez. I was at Mushin when he asked me to accompany him to Osohdi when the gang leader called him.
“When we got there, he told us to take a gun to his wife which was what we were doing when we were arrested. I have not made anything from the operations. If I ever get out of this, I will never rob again. I am a trained mechanic but I don’t like the work, that is why I joined the gang to make a living,” he said.