‘I Help Car Snatchers Drive Across Border’


A member of a suspected car snatching syndicate, Sidi Abubakar has confessed to the operatives at the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, that he is not a robber, but only helps an unidentified car snatching group to drive their stolen vehicles across the border through Ajitete village, Ogun State, into Cotonou, Republic of Binin for a fee.

The police alleged that the incident that led to the arrest of Sidi occurred when he and others now at large, allegedly robbed Oyegun Michael Oluwaseun of his Toyota Camry car with registration number KX 284 EKY at Ahmadiya area of Ojokoro, Lagos while armed with a locally-made pistol and other offensive weapons.

However, luck ran out on him when the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squard, FSARS operatives on an assignment at Idiroko border area arrested the suspect with the stolen vehicle as he made to drive across the border following a distress call they had earlier received about the vehicle.

When the car was searched, a locally made pistol was recovered and other incriminating exhibits.

During interrogation, the suspect Sidi confessed: “I am not a robber, and not the owner of the vehicle. A friend gave it to me to help him drive across the border into Republic of Benin. He does not know my name and I do not know his, too.

“I have been helping people to drive their vehicles across the border through a rough route known to only me and I have never snatched any vehicle from anybody in my life.”

When asked by the police what he was doing with a locally-made pistol if he was not a robber, he allegedly said: “I used the pistol for self defence.”

When further probed on the names of his accomplices in crime and those he has been helping to drive their vehicles across the border, he said: “We don’t normally know our names and addresses. My work is to drop the car at a designated spot across the border while the owner takes it over from there.”

The police have, however, described his claims as nonsense, saying the suspect was a member of the gang that snatched the car from the owner at gun point.

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They claimed that while he drove the car to their target across the Idiroko border, his accomplices stayed back to ensure safe delivery of the car to their target and beat police checkpoints.

But the accomplices, however, escaped when they learnt of the arrest of the suspect.

The suspect has been charged before the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court on a two count charge of felony to wit: armed robbery, offences, according to the prosecutor, ASP Raymond, are punishable under Section 6 (b) 1, (2) (a) of the Robbery and Fire Arms (Special Provision) Act, Cap. R11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges when it was read to him.

The presiding Magistrate, Mr. J. A. Adigun, did not take his plea.

He directed that the case file be sent to the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, DPP for advice.

He ordered that the accused be remanded at Ikoyi Prison and thereafter adjourned the matter till 13 September, 2011 for mention.

—Paul Iyoghojie

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