Saturday, 2 May 2015

PHOTO: Young Street Robbers Who Terrorize Apapa, Ebute-Metta Apprehended

Suspected members of a notorious robbery gang said to be responsible for the killings and series of robbery attacks on Apapa Road, Ebute-Metta, Lagos have been picked up. They are currently being interrogated by the police at the State Department of Criminal Investigations, Yaba, Lagos.

The latest victim of their attack was a 30-year-old railway employee, Kehinde Adebayo, who was robbed of valuable items and cash running into about N250,000 while on his way to work on April 9, 2015.

Adebayo said that day, he had N150,000 cash in his pocket as he left his house, because he planned to pay his rent later that day.

He said, “I was stupid enough to wear a Versace necklace I bought for N105,000. Apart from that, I had BlackBerry Z30 in my pocket. It was around 8am and I did not think anything like that would happen.

“When I got to Alagomeji along the Nigerian Railway Corporation road in Yaba, some young men accosted me. I remember they were up to 15. One of them flashed me a locally made pistol in his waist band while some others were holding broken bottles and knives.

“It happened so fast as they forcibly collected my mobile phone, the N150,000 cash that I was holding and the necklace I was wearing.”

In the fracas with the gang, Adebayo sustained injuries on his head as some of the bandits slashed him with broken bottles. Bloodied and scared, Adebayo ran to the nearest police station as the gang fled. The case was reported at the Iponri Police Division.

But four suspected members of the gang ran out of luck when Adebayo sighted and recognised them at a restaurant in Yaba about a week later. As soon as he saw them, he went to the closest police station at Alagomeji where policemen followed him to where the suspects were eating.

But as soon as they sighted the police with Adebayo in tow, they fled but 20-year-old Olasunkanmi Ojomu was caught as he ran inside the compound of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

However, on getting to the police station, Adebayo sighted another young man, 21-year old Wakilu Akintunde, whom he recognised as a member of the gang that attacked him. Akintunde had been arrested in a raid on a criminal hideout few days before.

Both Ojomu and Akintunde, along with another young man, 20-year-old Lanre Ogunsanwo, arrested as an accomplice of the suspects, are now with the Department of Criminal Investigations, Yaba, Lagos.

When our correspondent spoke with the suspects at the DCI on Thursday, they were remorseful as they narrated that they were “good and law-abiding” young men who were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ojomu told our correspondent, “It is not true that we robbed him. The problem was between Adebayo and I. There was a lady I like very much that I have been seeing him with in the neighbourhood. That was why I attacked him.

“I did not rob him and neither did I inflict injuries on him. He sustained injuries during the fight with me.”

When asked why he took about a dozen other men along during his encounter with Adebayo, he was silent. He also could not mention the name of the girl he alleged that Adebayo was involved with that infuriated him.

Akintunde, on the other hand, outrightly denied ever knowing both Ojomu and Adebayo.

He said, “I don’t know how he (Adebayo) could say he recognised me as one of the people who attacked him when I don’t live in the area. I was arrested in Ebute Metta when I was trying to pick a bus to visit my brother at Idumota. I live in Agege and I am not a criminal.”

A police source who is familiar with the case told our correspondent that the police had been on the trail of youths who had been carrying out series of robbery attacks around Apapa Road for a long time.

“Recently, a man was even killed when they carried out a robbery in the area. There have been series of complaints by residents of the area. That is why we have been focusing on that area,” the source said.

The police spokesperson in the state, Mr. Kenneth Nwosu, said the case was still being investigated.


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