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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Shocking confessions of five Lagos criminal gangs

The Lagos State Police Command  in its quest to reduce to the barest minimum activities of criminals in the state recently arrested members of five notorious armed robbery gangs that have been terrorising the state.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command raided the dens of cultists in Idimu, the Makoko street urchins and robbers, the Ikorodu-Agindingbi-Abul e Egba gang of robbers as well as rapists.
Below are the confessions of the suspects.

Azeez Nosiru, 40, with wife and a child, who operates mostly during night parties in his confession said: “I’m a conductor. One day I was in my area when a guy called Ejanla (Gbenga) invited me for a party in Idimu area of Lagos. 

I got drunk in the party. This guy, Akeem, collected a gun from Ejanla. I later collected the gun from Akeem and we went somewhere during the party. I was drunk and came outside to urinate. 

An Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) man saw me with the gun and alerted the police. They took me to the station and later transferred me to SARS.

“I had nothing in mind when I took the gun from Akeem. I had never seen gun with Akeem before. When I collected the gun from him, I didn’t explain anything to him. I don’t know why I collected the gun from Akeem.

No, I didn’t want to use it to rob. I had never robbed before.

“In fact, the gun doesn’t even work! It had become too stiff to work. I didn’t try to use it. It was police that made me realise it doesn’t work. I didn’t ask him to collect any gun for me. He was the one who called me on phone and told me that he had collected the gun from Ejanla.”

Akeem Sukuru, 22, who claimed to be a wielder, said:  “I knew Azeez in my area. We live at Council area of Idimu. There’s a place we used to drink. Everybody who used to come there to drink knows that Ejanla is a cultist and belongs to the Eiye confraternity.

“Many of them in that area belong to Eiye confraternity. Azeez asked me to help him collect the gun from Ejanla. I only assisted him to collect the gun. I didn’t ask him what he wanted to use the gun for.
“It was the same day he collected the gun that police arrested him. 

Azeez didn’t pay me to collect the gun for him. God is my witness. He had already told Ejanla to give him the gun. All I did was to assist him to collect the gun. To tell you the truth, Enjanla just came new to that area. We don’t know what he does for a living.”

As to why he didn’t report to police, he said: “I didn’t go to police to report about the gun because I didn’t want trouble from the cult boys.”

On the Makoko robbery gang, Olamide Kolawole, 24, single and a cobbler, said: “It was robbery that brought me to SARS. My friend, Rasaki, and I are best friends. It was through Rasaki that I got to know other members of the gang. We were 11 that went for that robbery. We went to rob at Makoko area. We went on a Sunday.

“We were returning from a club at Sabo called MP (meeting point). On the way home, they said they had a jobthey wanted to go and do. I didn’t know they were going to rob. They didn’t tell me. When we reached the target building, they asked two of their members to stay with me outside, while others entered the house.

“The following day, which was on Monday, they came and gave me N3000 and a phone.

“The time was about 11p.m. We hired different cabs and met at the agreed venue. The building was like face-me-I-face-you sort of building, but the target was at the Boys’ quarters. The building was not fenced. My work was just to stay outside and watch with other two persons.

They were watching for people. There was no light. We were drinking the small Chelsea drink with us. They said a guy brought the job for them. They said the person had N16million with him.

“It was Rasaki that brought my N3,000 share to me. They said the big money would go to those who had been with the gang for long. He also gave me a Tecno phone.”

On how he was arrested, Olumide said: “I was arrested through information to police. I was walking on the street, about to go and buy medicine, when police arrested me.

“I have taken police to Rasaki’s place at Ebute-Metta, but we didn’t see him. I believe he knew that I had been arrested and disappeared. But maybe if we go to his mother’s place. We may find him there. I didn’t know that he was a robber. We are both cobblers.

Oladun Moyemi, 20-year-old barber, in his confession said: “It was robbery at Makoko that brought me here.  I know Olamide. We’re not into robbery before this time. We are known as rioters in our areas. We’re always involved in street fights with youths from other streets.

“There was a street jam on that day. I didn’t know that Rasaki and his friends had planned a robbery operation. We were seven that went for that robbery. We were not up to 11. Rasaki came with four of his friends to join two of us for the operation. The street jam was held at Olulu Street. As we were going home, we didn’t know that Rasaki and his other friends had another plan.

“When we reached the house, Rasaki asked us to stay outside. Rasaki is our friend, but we call him Sobo. He is anokada rider. Rasaki and others later came out with bags and some other items. He gave me a phone, an asa 202 and N6,000. 

It was the same day that they shared the money and gave to us.
“I didn’t know they were going for robbery. It was when they were coming out with bags from the building that it dawned on me that they went to rob. The following morning, Rasaki and his four friends left for Ajah, where they live.

“Some days later, I heard that Olamide had been arrested. But I didn’t know why he was arrested. My barbing salon is at Ikorodu, but my family house is at Iwaya.

“We used to kill during the street fights. Our gang has killed one boy, while three people had been killed in our gang by our opponents. I don’t know why they always fight. It’s true, many of us don’t know the cause of the fights, and we are just dragged into it. 

When the older boys in the community send us on errand, the opponents know and begin to target us. Thus we have no choice than to join. We use machetes to fight. But the older ones use guns. But many of them had been arrested.

“During the robbery operation, they didn’t take the front of the building; they went through the back.
“I don’t know where Rasaki is. I don’t know their movement since my arrest. But I’m ready to cooperate with the police.

One of the Agidingbi car robbers, Olayinka Okewun, 35, said: “I’m a professional barber. I got married just June last year. I followed my friend to rob. We went to snatch car. The first car we snatched was at Agindigbi. The car was Honda Halla, ash colour.

“We have also snatched a Toyota Highlander at Ojodu Berger. We were about to snatch a Honda Pilot jeep when we were arrested.”

On how they pick their targets, Okewun said: “We got information that the man was travelling that day. We got it through a friend. I was called to follow them so that I’ll be the one to drive. We were four and that was my second time to go with them on operation. We were always four. My friend, Sodiq, a commercial bus driver had been long on the job.

“I live at Imota, but he called and asked me if I knew how to drive private vehicles, I said yes.  He said I should come and join him at Ojota. When I got to Ojota, it was Wednesday; we slept at the garage, the four of us. At about 4a.m, he came to wake me. He said we would be going somewhere. It was that day that we snatched the Honda Accord.

“Before they woke me that day, they had already gotten a car. It was a jeep, but battered and old.  I didn’t know where we were going, but he told me that any car they secured, I should quickly jump down and drive it.

“Two of them had a gun. As we collected the Honda Accord, the owner of the car was about to drive into a hotel to lodge, at Agindingbi, when we blocked it. Sodiq was with a gun. We used the black jeep to block it from behind. 

We rushed down; Sodiq was with the gun with ATM.  I don’t know ATM’s real name. After we collected the Honda Halla, we took Ojodu Berger and escaped, abandoning the black jeep.

“We were going to take the car to Abule-Egba, to the buyer. They asked me if I knew the way to Abule-Egba, I said I didn’t know the way well. 

When we got to Ojota, I got down for Sodiq to take over the car. It was that very day that I met the first guy and so I didn’t know his name. It’s only ATM and Sodiq that I know very well. He told me that we would be going to collect a vehicle.
“I knew that Sodiq was a robber. I have not collected my share before police arrested me.”

On the second robbery, he said: “Sodiq asked me to come and meet him at Berger. It was a Saturday. He said we would be going to snatch a Highlander jeep. We did. It was a woman who was driving the jeep.

After we collected the car, we went to Ebute-Metta. They told me that they were going to collect money from a man that was travelling. When we got to Ebute-Metta, ATM and I were asked to hang around at the bus stop.

“They said they wanted to go inside to collect information on how to rob the man of his money and that as soon as we sight the Highlander we should get ready and enter the car fast. It was about 4p.m.
“When we sighted them, we got up and joined them. In less than 25 minutes, we saw a Honda Pilot, driving. They said that was the man; that he was travelling and had foreign currency, and that we should collect it.

“We followed the car from there. They told me that immediately we get the man, Sodiq would get down and I should go and wait. 

When we got to the airport and I got down to take over the car from Sodiq, we heard soldiers shouting ole! They left me and ATM behind. We started running. The two of us took different directions. I didn’t know that area very well and the soldiers arrested me.

“I know that if Sodiq is caught, my problems will reduce. We went to his house, but we didn’t meet him. He knew I had been caught. My wife didn’t know that I had been arrested for robbery. My wife is even pregnant.

“It was greed that led me into this. I’m not satisfied with what God gave me. It was the way my friend painted the robbery job and how they spend and live their lives that made me decide to join them. I wanted to be like them. Today, I’m blaming myself.

A member of the Onyingbo robbery gang,

Akeem Adesina, 22, said he was into crab dealing before he joined robbery gang, saying: “It was a friend of mine that said I should come and let’s go and look for money. His name is Ababawon Kehinde.

“He said we should go to Jebba at Oyingbo. He told me that we were going for tigba bo operation. It means kick and open the door, like breaking and entry.

“We had a gun. Another had a machete. We were four that went for the operation. The others had been going before, but that was the first operation I would be partaking in where gun was used.

“My former job was pickpocket. Cutting open pockets of people sleeping and collecting their money or phones.
“There was Lucky, Sule, Kehinde. Ababawon has small frame. But he’s the leader.

Kehinde saw the house and said the house was like where somebody who has money might live.
“We don’t have target. We just moved around and picked any building at random. Ababawon climbed up the balcony, opened curtain and said we would get money from the place.

“Lucky was the person holding machete. He climbed and followed him. The next person holding a gun gave me his gun and climbed up and asked me to hand over the gun to him.

“He said I should be watching down in case there’s any problem. They opened the window and attempted to open the gate, but the owner heard the noise of the gate and started shouting. Sule showed him the gun, and said stop right there. 

Maybe the man just woke up and didn’t hear or maybe he thought it was a toy gun, he started struggling with Sule to collect the gun.

“Sule opened fire. The man fell down. People in the compound started shouting. People living on the second floor looked down and also joined in shouting. They started throwing things at us. My friends all rushed down from the balcony and we left the place.

Ababawon said we couldn’t go home empty handed. We started robbing people going for early morning prayers of their money and handsets.

The time was about 4am. We saw a guy carrying bag and a guy driving. Sule showed him gun, we collected their phones and money. While we were collecting these items we saw a vehicle; it was a police van. The light of the car was on us.

“We started running; Sule ran and disappeared. Lucky, Kehinde and I kept running. Kehinde that had small body was the person in the front, Lucky second and then me. 

I heard stop there or I’ll shoot. It was the policemen. Kehinde and Lucky knew that area very well. They took some more steps and also disappeared. I was the only one that the police got. 

They took me to police station and found about eight phones and money on me. I told them that we were doing stop and search.

“The police were taking my statement when someone came into the station to report that some men came to their compound and shot their neighbour without collecting anything.

“They said the man had died in the hospital. The policemen asked if it was my gang that went to that house and killed that man, I said no. I told them that we were doing stop and search.

“We were taken to SARS. I took the police to my friends’ places, but they had run away. I mentioned innocent people. When we returned to SARS, it was discovered that those people were innocent. I also later told the truth that those people I mentioned were innocent.

“I was not robbing. It was my first robbery and I was arrested. It was Sule that shot and killed the man. Sule saidyawa don gas, that we would not be able to get money from there anymore.”
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