ONE of three armed robbery
suspects paraded by the police in Lagos, Babatunde Segun, aged 21, who resides in Ayobo,
a suburb of Lagos, has confessed that wickedness and
selfishness of neighbours and people he met in Lagos pushed him to armed robbery.
The unending hardship that wheelbarrow pushers go
through in the course of daily duties was another factor, he added. His accomplices are Bala
Mohammed, 19, and Toheed
Ashimiyu, 18, from Lafenwa
community in Ogun State. According to the police, the
three-man gang were wheelbarrow pushers before
they allegedly embraced armed robbery for quick money.
They specialised in tearing
down the mosquito nets on windows and doors of victims who are mostly tenants in ‘face
me I face you’ rooms, one bedroom and parlour
arrangement, rooms with facilities en suite called ‘self-
contained apartment’, one- bedroom flats, two-bedroom flats, three-bedroom flats and shops.
The police also revealed that the
alleged robbers usually cart away moveable items like
expensive phones, laptops, ipad, gold necklace, money in cash, ATM cards, wristwatches, gold rings, expensive shoes, clean good shirts and pairs of
trousers, canvas shoes and sandals.
The source added that the three
suspects operated on October 15 at about 3.30 a.m. at Johnson Joseph and Akinlade Streets in
the Ashipa area of Ayobo,
Lagos. When they reportedly turned
into a nuisance with incessant armed robbery criminal
activities, the officers and men of Ayobo Police Division captured one of the suspects and transferred him to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Further investigations by
operatives of SARS led to the arrest of two other suspects, Babatunde and Bala. All made confessional statements and would soon be charged to court, said the source.
Exhibits recovered from them include a pair of scissors, cutlass, razor blades and two cellphones.
Explaining the role he played in
the affair, the first suspect Babatunde said: “It is the
wickedness and selfishness of
our neighbours and the kind of people we met in Lagos, including hardship that we go
through everyday in doing our ‘barrow pushing and the harassment we are subjected to every day by different Task Force who either ask us to pay
costly ticket , and outright seizure of our ‘barrow
sometimes that pushed us into armed robbery business.
If you are hungry, nobody is ready to listen to you not to talk of helping you with a loaf of
bread.” The second suspect, Bala, said:
“We are not armed robbers. We
don’t carry guns. We carry cutlass just to force victims to submit whenever they want to attack us.
Normally, our victims do not know that we are operating because we do it quietly. It’s only those who don’t sleep deeply that see us sometimes and we run away without challenging them. We don’t even like to do
anything that can awaken them to avoid alerting neighbours that we are operating.”
The third suspect, Toheed, said: “My brothers refused to help me so I decided to push ‘barrow to do ‘kaya’ work at Alaba International Market area and other areas I could get load to carry.”
It was the Indian hemp that we normally smoke before we start work and at close of work that made me to join Babatunde and Bala to form net-tearing gang.
I had wanted to stop but the phones and money we used to get in every operation made net-tearing work better than ‘barrow pushing.”
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