A 38-year-old suspected robber, Ibrahim Kazeem, has confessed that he took to crime in order to satisfy his wife who was persistently demanding money from him.
Kazeem was recently arrested by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Lagos State Police Command.
He is the leader of a four-man robbery gang, which specialized in beating up their victims before pushing them out of moving vehicles
The suspect, who claimed to have abandoned his job as a commercial bus driver for robbery, said: “I am from Okeho town in Kajola Local Government Area, Oyo State, but I was born in Ajegunle, Lagos State.
‘’I am the first child of my parents, who are now late. One of my brothers is a 500 level Industrial Chemistry student in one of the universities in Nigeria. Another one is in secondary school, while two others are learning handiwork here in Lagos; I am the one taking care of them.
‘’My problems started when I married my wife. She gave me children(sic), but she did not obey me. Instead, she continued to make more demands that overstretched me. Instead of cutting her coat according to her size, she would tell me to do what real men do, no matter the risk.
‘’There was one soup I told her that I used to do charm, and that on no account must she touch it. When I went to work, she went and destroyed the charm, despite my warning to her that if the soap is destroyed I would die. Having realized that she had no value for my life, coupled with too many demands from her, I sent her away from my house.’’
He said his estranged wife relocated to Ojo, where she got a new apartment and now lives with his children.
‘’This overstretched me because I am still taking care of my children. As a commercial driver, I used to go home everyday with two or three thousand naira after delivery of five thousand naira to the owner of the bus, yet it was not enough to take care of my family.
‘’I was still managing (as a commercial driver) until one of my friends named Tijani and my conductor brought the idea to rob people and make quick money. They called it advanced pickpocket work. It is different from ‘one chance’ because we don’t use force or weapon to collect phones and money from victims.
‘’This is what we do; the conductor and Tijani, would start haggling the fare while the bus is on motion. As the argument becomes heated, members of the gang who posed as passengers would start disposessing passengers of their phones and money.
“On October 30 October, 2018, along Surulere area, we did not know who alerted the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Edgal Imohimi, and he directed the officer in charge of FSARS, Mr Peter Gana, to pursue us.
‘’We were robbing some victims, when the victims raised the alarm that attracted FSARS operatives, hence, they arrested us.’’
Meanwhile, another suspect, Andrew Hezekiah, 29, from Ugheli, Delta State, said his gang was different from Kazeem’s gang. He gave the names of his gang members as, Tajudeen(the conductor, now at large); Yusuf and Sikiru Tajudeen.
Hezekiah said: “ I have been to prison for the same ‘one chance’ operation two years ago. This boy, Tajudeen is a bad friend. He joined the gang on his own. He had no problem before he joined the gang.
‘’I have robbed more than five times, but I haven’t saved up to N50,000, because of the type of life we; we live as if there is no tomorrow.
In his confession, Tajudeen said:’’ I am from Ibadan, but Oga Hezekiah wanted to assist me with a sum of N10,000 which my sister needed urgently as a student, but instead of helping me, he lured me into his gang.
‘’I have followed them to work (operation) more than five times, but I did not save up to five thousand naira as I am talking to you.’’
Police source said the suspects would be charged to court at the end of the investigation.