In what turned out as fulfillment of the Nigerian parlance, ‘many days for the thief, one day for the owner of the house,’ the investment made by a supermarket in installing a closed-circuit television system to boost the security of the facility has paid off handsomely.
The security device proved its worth, when it aided police detectives to identify, track down and arrest the two thieves who robbed the supermarket located at 13, Ashiriabo Street, Lagos State.
It was learnt from the head of the Lagos State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, led by CSP Adejobi, that the alleged crime was committed on June 13, 2015, at 1:53pm, by the trio of Sadiq Ariyo, 28, Ade, and Tunji Ojekunle, who stormed the supermarket. But the fourth accomplice, 30-year-old Adelani Oladoye, a father of three children, is alleged to have conveyed two of the robbers to the supermarket on his motorcycle.
Acting out their pre-programmed plan, Ariyo, Ade and Ojekunle went into the shop, and pretended to be customers buying goods. Then, suddenly, Ariyo whipped out a gun and shouted: “Where is the money?”
The vehemence in his voice and the sight of the gun, made the shoppers and staff to quickly lie face-down, while the robbers carted away all the proceeds from the day’s sales and stole recharge cards of all the networks worth N100,000 and two phones from the owner of the shop, Mr Sunday Onwuegbuna. Sadly, the robbers took the phones of the two customers in the shop at that time. While searching one of the customers, they saw the sum of N15,000 which they also took. Unknown to them, the hidden eyes of the CCTV camera dutifully recorded everything that transpired in the shop, and caught the full facial features of the robbers on digital film.
Recounting the experience, Onwuegbuna said: “They opened the drawer and packed all the money we made from sales and recharge cards of all networks. The total money that was stolen by these robbers, I cannot say the amount yet; I cannot also say the total value of the recharge cards stolen by them, but I know it was more than N100,000.”
When the visitors from hell left his supermarket, Onwuegbuna immediately reported the theft to the Aswani police station, which promptly dispatched a response team.
When the pictures from the camera were printed and submitted to the SARS team, detectives fanned and began searching for the alleged robbers.
In short order, they arrested main suspect, Ariyo and Adelani, the motorcycle rider. During interrogations, they revealed the identity of Musa Abdulrasheed, who supplies bullets to the motorcycle rider. SARS operatives eventually tracked down Saubana Rafiu, the man who keeps custody of gangs arms after operation.
When Sunday Sun spoke with the suspects, Musa confessed that he runs a joint where he sells Indian hemp to customers and bullets to Adelani and others. He also insisted that a certain Igbo man, who is now at large, gave him the bullets to sell to “customers.” However, Rafiu, a father of three children who is separated from his wife, denied going with the gang on operations but kept the guns, bullets, matchets and axe for them because he gets extra money and phones from his friend, Adelani, after their operations.
Adelani told Sunday Sun that he is a welder, but had been having difficulty earning income from his trade because of lack of equipment to work. For this reason, he had been using his motorcycle to convey the men around when they go on bag snatching assignments or robberies at Jakande gate, Ejigbo and Igando areas.
A source who requested anonymity said when they arrested one of them, it was easy to pick the rest of the gang. Meanwhile, Ade and Ojekunle, the other two men who went into the supermarket with Ariyo are at large.