The Lagos State Police command said it has nabbed a suspected armed robber, Ehuiwe Akire, after having a field day in Festac and Apapa areas of Lagos.
Akire, who was said to be the leader of a six-man gang, was arrested recently by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Response Team.
It was learnt that the gang’s targets were bank customers who had gone to withdraw huge amounts and commuters waiting for commercial buses at bus stops.
The 35-year-old man was reportedly arrested along Isheri-Igando Road on January 16, 2020 as he wanted to resume operations with his gang members who escaped from the scene on motorcycles.
Police said two Beretta pistols were recovered from the suspect.
The suspect told the police that he only used guns to threaten his victims and force them to part with their valuables.
Explaining how he got into crime, the father of one said he was an artisan but he was not earning enough income.
He said, “I dropped out of school at primary six. I was into bricklaying but I was not making enough money despite all my efforts. I started sneaking into shops when owners were asleep to steal their handsets, money from drawers and anything valuable.
“I was making big money but I did not save. I used the money to take women to hotels. I am married with a daughter but my wife and I have separated. She left me when she discovered I was a thief. I was later arrested by police at the Adeniji Adele (Lagos Island) and charged for receiving stolen items.”
Akire said while he was on remand in prison, he met inmates who taught him how to make more money through armed robbery.
He explained that he joined a cult group upon his release from prison and formed a robbery gang.
“Joining the cult gave me the courage to carry gun. My cult members ordered me to buy two guns for them which I did. I then bought my own guns which I used for operations.
He added, “My members are Festus, Obilo, Lastborn, Segun, Shedra and we operate in Apapa, Festac, Mushin and Surulere. If we wanted to rob someone coming from bank with money, Festus would pretend as if he wanted to withdraw money.
“He would enter the bank hall and start to monitor the person who came to withdraw huge amount of money. The rest of us would stay outside watching. Once the target had withdrawn the money and heading out, Festus would follow the person closely and would make a signal to us.”
He said as soon as their victims moved away from the bank premises, they would collect the money and escape on standby motorcycles.
Akire said he usually realised between N20,000 and N250,000 on each operation, adding that he made about N1.2m in one of the operations.
“I bought a parcel of land for N500,000 out of the money. Whenever there was no robbery operation, I engaged in stealing to make small money so I could cope. I have vowed to God that if I regain freedom, I would not go into robbery again,” he added.