Monday, 7 December 2015

I Needed Money for Graduation – 20-Year-Old Suspect Arrested for Stealing Mobile Phones and Wallets Confess

A 20-year-old robbery suspect, Lanre Makinde, who was arrested by the police in Lagos, said he became a robber to raise money for his graduation.
Punch learnt that Makinde and three other accomplices ─ Sodiq Hassan, Sunday Oyeniran and Ahmed Kazeem ─ were arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad on Saturday while they were allegedly dispossessing their victims of mobile phones and wallets during gridlock.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspects and other fleeing gang members stole two mobile phones and two wallets from their victims before they were apprehended by the police.
In his statement to the police, Makinde said he was on drugs when the incident happened. He added that he needed money to pay for his graduation in an undisclosed institution, and to make ends meet. He said, 
“I was not conscious of what I was doing. I knew the gang leaders as friends in the area, and agreed to go out with them. I was drunk on that evening. I actually needed money to pay for my graduation and to make ends meet.”
Makinde added that he was involved in “only one operation” with the gang.
Also, Oyeniran said his role was only to keep the items stolen during the operation. He said he recently left the prison on November 14, 2015. He said, 
“I am an ex-convict. I was not the leader of the gang. Since I was released from the prison on November 14, I ensured that I severed my relationship with the gang. The gang leaders are Eegun and Yoppy. I know them as traffic robbers in Oshodi. I was only seen with the mobile phones stolen by the gang. I did not go to rob with them.”
Another suspect, Hassan, who claimed to be a school dropout, said he was working as a bus conductor before joining the gang. He said, 
“I learnt generator repairing in Ibadan, Oyo State, and I travelled to Lagos to raise some money to set up my workshop. I was sleeping under the Oshodi Bridge. I was with the gang when they stole the phones. It was stolen by one man, Awuwa. He is one of those who fled from the police.”
One of the people dispossessed by the gang, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was descending the pedestrian bridge when one of the robbers snatched his mobile phone.
The victim, a software analyst in the Ikeja area, added that the police had returned the recovered phone to him.
Another victim, identified only as Rasheedat, said she had alighted from her husband’s car to open the back door for a passenger, when the suspects took the phones and ipads placed on the front seat.
A police source added that the suspects would be charged to court on Monday (today).
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Joe Offor, could not be reached for comment, as his line indicated that it was switched off as of press time.

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