16th December, 2011
A n ex-convict, Felix Umukoro and his cohorts, Saheed Rasheed andÂ Anayo Sunday, have been arrested by the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Lagos State Police Command, while preparing to go forÂ aÂ robberyÂ operationÂ inÂ Ajangbadi area of the state.
The 28-year-old secondary school dropout, confessed to P.M.NEWS that he had spent three years and eight months in Kirikiri Maximum Prison and was released in 2009, adding that it was poverty that led him to armed robbry.
The Delta State indigene who alleged that heÂ was lured into armed robbrey by a friend who now resides in South Africa, said the operation, before which he was arrested,Â willÂ be his last if pardoned.
SpeakingÂ on what led him to Kirikiri, he said, “we were four in number and we boarded a bus going to Mile 2 at Iyana Iba.Â We robbed all the passengers in the bus of their valuables at gun point. WhenÂ we alightedÂ from the bus and the passengers started shouting: “thief, thief, thief”Â onÂ us, we were arrested by the crowd and handed over to the police.
“IÂ was laterÂ charged to court and sent to prison when i couldnâ€™t meet the bail condition. I met my new gang at Alaba market where we used to smoke Indian hemp. It was there that a friend told us that he had a deal for us somewhere inÂ Ajangbadi. “When we got to Peoples Bus stop, some distance from where we intend to rob, Ezuma asked us to wait, andÂ that he would come and call us when it was time to strike.
“It was while waiting for Ezuma thatÂ we slept offÂ whereÂ weÂ were hidingÂ and theÂ police came to arrest us. In my first robbery operation, I was given N15,000 and in the second one N13,000 and a handset.
According to 32-year-old Rasheed, a father of two, who claims that he lives in the Republic of Cotonou, the double barrel pistol found on them was brought from Cotounou , adding that they have not used it for any operation before their arrest.
He said that he deals in the purchase and sale of aluminium and iron scraps before the Nigeria Customs ran him out of business after they seized his goods. He corroborated Umukoroâ€™s claim that they were pickedÂ upÂ by the police afterÂ they all slept off while preparingÂ for an operation
Anayo Sunday, 21, who works as anÂ off-loaderÂ at Alaba InternationalÂ market, pleadedÂ forÂ leniency, saying that it was temptation that ledÂ him to join the gang.
â€” Jamiu Yisa & Ayodeji Dedeigbo